Monday, January 31, 2011

Grateful Monday:Winter Strom

There's a winter storm blowing in tomorrow around three am.  I am grateful that my husband did all our grocery shopping this weekend.  We will not have to get out in the cold weather for any necessities.  After I type this I am headed to the library to return a few books.  Tomorrow I plan to drink lots of hot chocolate, while wrapped in a freshly laundered blanket.  In addition I am also thankful for our new heater downstairs. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Preparing For Next Year

The other day while doing some paperwork, I checked my calender and noted we have only 59 days left in our kindergarten school year.  Wow!  This year has gone bye very quickly. I will review the year at a later date but so far so good.  We have had our challenges but I am still convinced that we have made the right choice to homeschool our boys.  Funny story, on Friday at our co-op I was speaking with one of the parents there.  We  were discussing why we both chose our co-op over several others in our community.  Well I was telling her that my son is reserved, quiet and shy.  She looked and me and said "Are we talking about the same Christopher!"  She went on to tell me how he is fully engaged in her class and has his network of friends.  My heart lept with joy.  I knew that he enjoyed co-op but I have not had the opportunity to be in any of his classes and observe him personally, perhaps next year.  I have spoken with several of the moms that have taught him in the co-op and they have all said he is such a joy, smart and mannerable.  "Let the church say Amen!" as I smile to myself thinking my hard work is not in vain. 
Right now I am in the process of planning for next year and have started to purchase curriculum.  I don't know about others but planning and purchasing curriculum is like Christmas around here.  I love receiving our boxes.  This next school year will look slightly different as I will be incorporating the classical method.  I had the opportunity to assist in an Institute for Excellence in Writing class at my co-op and I was blown away. This series is for elementary students and I was impressed with the foundation the young children were exposed to.  So I asked one of the teachers whose daughter is in the class what she did to prepare her daughter for IEW and she told me she used First Language Lessons recommended by the author of The Well Trained Mind. Once I left co-op that day I went to the library and checked out the book.  I was sold from the first chapter.  I loved the book so much that I went to Half Price Book Stores and purchased the first edition for 7$.  What a deal!  Anyway here are my choices for next year.

CLE Learning to Read/Reading 100
CLE Language Arts 100
Math Saxon1
Meet the Masters Art
Greenleaf Guide to Old Testament History Israel year 1
Brown Bag Science 3 books Human Body, Insects and Bugs, Plants (Putting together my own Life Science) These books provide a lot of hands on experience and that is exactly what my son craves.  I am searching for some great spine books and of course we will utilize the library for additional reading material. 
Homeschool PE
Soccer/Flag Football

For my three year old son Emmanuel. We will continue using ABC Home Preschool, lots of art and books from the library.  He is on the wait list for piano lessons and hopefully we can get him into gymnastics. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Glass of Water Please

Unfortunately the family here at Random Uttering does not like to drink water.  Yes it's true.  We are not the best when it comes to following the eight glasses a day rule.  One day I had an aha moment. When one of my sons was begging for a glass of juice I decided that first he would have to finish a cup of water and then he could have the beverage of his choice.   So how's it working for me you ask.   Well it's not horrible but it's not easy.  I am committed to the process though.  So I had to start drinking water.  I would feel like a hypocrite telling my children to drink water, while I am drinking Pineapple soda.  The best drink this side of heaven.  (smile)  This small decision has really made and impact on me.  When I open the refrigerator door looking for something to drink, my mind immediately thinks how much water have I had today.  Should I have this juice, will the kids see me.  Confession, sometimes I like to tempt the children.  I will drink my water quickly then have get a beverage of my choice.  The boys start gulping their water down so quickly it's pretty comical. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Year Update

I decided yesterday that I have been away for far too long.  I have missed you guys in blogger land.   I hope each of you are doing well.  Here's what we have been up to here at Random Uttering.

December we traveled to Nigeria to visit my husbands family.  It was awesome! What a blessing and an opportunity.  The boys had a great time with all their cousins.  We did not want to come back.  There are  really no words that can describe my experience, only that it was great. 

50% of the population is Muslim so you see a lot of women covered.

Organ at the National Chruch

Mosque, it is beautiful. 

We got tovisit a branch of our church in Abuja the capital.  Awesome.

On the education front things are going well.  We are halfway through our kindergarten year.  Where has the time gone?  It has been an experience to say the least.  Christopher is excited to know that he is almost in first grade.  He really wants to be a big boy. I have selected our curriculum for next year.  After some research I have decided to try a different approach for our homeschool time.  So I will be incorporating the classical approach with our history and science next year. This week I will be purchasing the curriculum and laying out our schedule.  I am looking for a great homeschool planner software that is not online.  The software I have tried has been underwhelming to say the least.  If I had more time I would break out my old copy of Visual Basic and start programming.  But let's be real when will I have time to create my own planning software.  Anyway if any of you has a recommendation I am all ears.  Something other than Edutrack and Homeschool Tracker please. 
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