Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homeschooling Why?

Deut. 6:5-9 says:
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.


Loose tooth is now GONE!
Nathan lost his first tooth and is officially promoted to "big kid." Sigh...

These school-soccer-boy-choir-theatre-planning-filled days are leaving me with little time to even think about blogging. I'm content to be in the throes of things though, fully enjoying our school this year.

We are just diggin' Classical Conversations. It's a great thing for the kids to have class to go to once a week and it's stinking productive. I get to stay and get in on the classroom too so I'm getting new ideas for teaching all the time. The boys have memorized so much information in the last three weeks I can't believe it. I'm happy to say I've learned most of it too. :) The Ten Commandments, Greek and Roman God's, a little Latin, all about the Kingdoms of Living things and this week about the human cell- that's just the half of it! It's something else to give them this information to be retained, rather than merely introducing it and moving on. I love their presentations each week too... the boys continue to get more and more comfortable speaking before their peers. If you are interested in CC look at their website for a chapter close to you. I'll be posting more about the curriculum as time allows on my homeschooling site.

Other big news on the home front...Nate lost his first tooth. You can see up there that it's getting wiggly, and a few minutes later it was gone. He was thrilled to be in on this graduation, promoted to "big kid" in a matter of minutes. Eli really wants to be part of the hole-in-the-mouth club, but he'll have to wait a minute. Geesh!

Things are moving right along at home, we are thoroughly enjoying soccer boys. We have 5 practices a week and three games on Saturdays. It seems like a lot but because none of us "go" very often it works out just fine. We have three different levels this year. It's really, really fun to watch, especially Eli in his first year; This team has an orange thing going. See?

Well, that's all the blogging this morning can handle. Hoping to do more updating this week but for now it's off to do the early morning school rush I'm glad to do just once a week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Proverbs 16:24

Says Nate;

"Eli, with your very strong helping, can you help me?"
"Sure." Eli replies.
" I don't need to get the box apart, but with your very strong hands can you get the knife down there?" Nate asks.

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. -Proverbs 16:24

First day of School

Tuesday marked our first day of Classical Conversations this year. The boys were so excited to join other homeschool kids in class for the morning. They were even more excited about having their own lunchpails, school back packs and RECESS!!

Our first day of class was a lot of orientation details, of course.
Joey and Nate are in different classes, so Eli and hopped back and forth to see what both classes were doing. In CC, parents are the teachers (we homeschool all week) and the CC instructors are called tutors. Parents are expected to stick around and learn what the kids are being introduced to, help out with the class and learn new methods of instruction. I am so grateful to be part of a class in which the whole family is welcome to hang out.

The boys both get to do a presentation each week. This week they spoke on their interests and families. Joe did a fine job, making me especially warm-and-fuzzy when he named his favorite place as "home."
Nate gave all the crew a chuckle when he said:
"Hi, I'm Nate. I like shiny rocks, elephants, slime monsters and tornadoes."

I'm so proud.

Both boys exuded confidence and I'm grateful that they'll get to be presenting each week! What an opportunity!

The class went on, memory work, science, art, lunch, and RECESS!

The boys had a fabulous day, and it was really fun for me too. We are following it up with our memory work (which the kids are learning more quickly than myself....
  • milestones of the timeline beginning with creation
  • Noun endings in Latin
  • the five Kingdoms of Living things (science)
  • skip counting by 2's
  • the fertile crescent (geo)
  • and all about a preposition
The memory work is made easy and fun for the boys at home and at school.

For more about Classical Conversations Curriculum, see the CC blog, or another great description here at the Pages of our Life

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

If you take a boy to the library....

If you take a boy to the library, he'll want to check out a book.
When he chooses his book, it just be his favorite thrice-checked-out cookbook.

After reading his favorite book for the fourteenth time, he'll want to make those Boosk Brownies.

When he's baking those brownies don't be surprised when he starts making coughing and gagging sounds. You'll ask, "Are you okay?" He'll answer, "Now I understand what you meant when you said that Unsweetened Cocoa isn't sweet." Cough-Cough.
When he's mixing the flour he'll decide he needs to wear your apron.
When the apron is on he'll ask for a taste of brown sugar.

When the sugar is in he'll need to mix up those brownies.
When the brownies are mixed he'll be adding some chocolate chips.

When the chips are added, the brownies will be ready for the oven.
When the brownies are baked, that little boy will be so proud, and mysteriously hungry- as will his brothers.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The challenge of the age;

to compete with the technology of the world. I am taking my job seriously, to compete with video games, television and one day... sometimes I fear one day.

My boys LOVE to play video games. TV is alright, but video games- certainly addictive. They can't wait to play...and then when they're playing they're so intense...and when they're done, "Can I just finish my level?"

So far the boys just play games on the PC. They typically get 20-30 minutes a day (according to age) and they're used to the timer now. It helps that I give them a 3 minute warning. "Finish your level..." Sometimes I want to buy a game 'system' so they can all just play at the same time and get it over with but I fear that would only lead to new problems....new games, new game options, and they probably won't WANT to play all at the same time and just get it over with.

As many of you know I pride myself of being a mama-of-moderation (but for breastfeeding, homeschooling and Jesus). My experience growing up was that where I was forced into extreme I deviated as soon and extremely as I could. I do not want our home to be video game free, tv free...I know my boys will find the next "funner house" to go to and be there. I have read recently also that video games can be a bonding time for older boys together. The jury (our opinion) is out on this as of yet though. At any rate I don't wish to be extreme about this...yet.

So the challenge, to compete for their attentions and interest. To grow minds that understand that stories and out-door play and games can be as interesting and fun as video games. Thinking very hard about this makes me understand just why so many moms have an video game I.V. hooked up to their kids (rambunctious boys especially).

Video games are (pretty) quiet.
The house stays clean(er) when kids are playing.
Video games only require some expensive parts/games.
They're mindless entertainment for kids and parents alike.
Video games can be cleaned up in 5 minutes flat.

Everything else....it's more work. Hobbies, crafts, reading to your kids, nature hikes, setting up a tool or science set, play doh, play houses, art....all of it is messier, time consuming and harder.

So this is my call to all the parents out their who feel the pull to back off of brain-dead entertainment, starting with me. Encouragment for those who have the desire to see these little brains working in 3D, in interaction and 3D problem solving.

I am a mom. This is the job I signed up for. In the end, I want beautiful, well educated, experienced, well rounded children. I will not achieve this end result by accident, or default. I have to work for this one. So I am challenged again to push back on this draw to cyber-play all day.

So tell me, what do you do that works? How do you compete?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eli Says...

I found Eli curled up on the floor this morning, I asked if he was okay.

"I'm not going to die or anything," he said. "I just have a tummy ache. I need to go potty."

--Another one---

The other day I was playing with Eli and he said "Did you hear that mom? That noise came from my bottom and it sounded like a door closed."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Being Still-er


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Littlest...

...not so little.

Happy Birthday Eli.
I love your sweet and spunky, mischievous little self.

For Eli's Birthday we celebrated....decorating cupcakes with big brothers,
lots and lots and lots of sprinkles.
Then it was off to the bowling alley,
where we celebrated with friends
(and I was a little outnumbered)

We also had a family party in the evening, but I was having camera/battery trouble so I didn't really get any photos. But thanks to Auntie Meggie the Birthday boy got to have this heavenly bedtime story;