Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Little Guy's New Milestones

My little man's been making so much developmental progress this last week or two...eating food, spinning in a circle, pushing up on his knees. Daddy scared our little man with a sneeze tonight, and when Daddy offered his arms to comfort him our baby stretched out his arms like he was asking to be picked up. Then as I took him back, I told our little guy to wave goodbye to Daddy. Lo and behold he picked up his hand and closed and opened it. I immediate yelled, "yeah!". Then, the little guy cried again. It was getting to be bedtime.

Here are a couple of recent pictures of him.

riah_siah

With his oldest sister (my step-daughter).

snow_coat

In his snowsuit.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just Chillin'

just_chillin

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time-Warp Wife - Riding in Cars With...Boys?

I thought this was a more than excellent post that will be worth my returning to in the years when my daughters are older.

Time-Warp Wife - A Return to Biblical Womanhood: Riding in Cars With...Boys?: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~ Proverbs 4:23 Dear Darlene, I am coming to you with a questi..."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Studying Monet

We were studying Monet today. We learned that Claude Monet liked to draw caricatures of friends and teachers as a young boy. We also learned that Monet used perspective a lot in most of his paintings. One daughter wanted to practice a caricature and the other perspective. Here are the drawings:

rachel_caricature_gm_ellen

My middle daughter drew a caricature of her Grandmother.

natalie_perspective_monet

My oldest daughter drew a road with people and buildings (with perspective). The painting is an Impressionist painting like Claude Monet's drawings.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Is How We Do Science

This is how we do science around here:

(Among other things)

first_calf

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Homeschooling Writing Resources

Here are some good free supplemental writing and spelling resources:

Grammar And Writing Exercises From Houghton MacMillan

Grammar From ABC Teach

Writing Ideas From ABC Teach

Getting Into My Groove

This year I have been mostly experimenting with using the Robinson method for teaching. I must say I am impressed. Really, I think, the problem with education today (by in large) is that society expects far too little of children.

My nine year old this year is working through Saxon Math 5/6 and getting nearly 100% on every lesson. Robinson has the kids track their own progress in Saxon(how many they get correct) and repeat if they don't get at least 95% correct. My daughter loves this and it motivates her like nobody's business. My seven year old, who has always been a little slower in terms of development, is also very motivated. She wants to do Saxon Math 4/5. There is something really motivating about doing work they can be proud of. She is working on her multiplication tables still, but she has gotten down addition and subtraction facts cold.

And they are reading and doing writing. At this age, their writing can be copywork or it can be anything they want to write. I correct it after they do their writing and they have to go through and correct their spelling, grammar, etc. before the next day. This...my older daughter is not so thrilled with. But, they learn from the process amazingly. I make spelling lists from real world words they miss. And I explain phonics rules and grammar rules as we go along.

They do other work too. First off, they are in art and violin. Violin is fantastic for math. Art is fantastic for observation. When they are interested in other subjects (science, a foreign language...I let them study it on their own). Now, it's been pretty difficult having a new baby and before that being pregnant. That's part of my reason for going with this curriculum...it takes less prep on my part. I just didn't want to do (or pay for) a set curriculum.

I am also very interested in the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education. It holds a lot in common with the Robinson curriculum. It is clear that Robinson borrowed some from Charlotte Mason. Yet, I have found that certain things Charlotte taught, aren't absolutely necessary for well rounded, well educated children. Charlotte was a big proponent in her writing of switching subject when the child lost interest. Robinson is the opposite...'have them sit there till they get the discipline to do hard work'. Charlotte taught that actual lessons (not all of a child's learning) should be kept short (should be finished in the morning). Robinson teaches that lessons (reading, writing, and arithmatic) should last 5-6 hours 6 days a week, year round (minus vacations).

What I have found is that either method works, as long as the expectations for the child are high and the goal for the child's education are presented clearly. Homeschooling is so superior to group education, as long as an effort of excellence is put forth. I find myself free from the ideology of either method...or any other method. I can bring in nature study to teach science. If desired, I can bring in worksheets to teach a foreign language, phonics, latin, whatever. I can bring in a writing curriculum, if desired, to fine tune their writing. Yet, I don't have to...their education will still be superior to what they would get elsewhere if I don't. What I will do is rely on my children teaching themselves and using whatever tool I find to learn the subject naturally.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It Has Begun

It has already begun.

all_over

Answers

Sometimes I just don't have the answers. I'm the kind of person that likes to have answers for everything. But, so often I do not. I struggle with myself and with my job as a Mom the most I think. How do I teach my children virtue? I feel like Paul so often as I say, "that which I don't want to do, I do, and that which I want to do, I don't do. Who shall save me from this body of sin? Thanks be to Jesus Christ."

Very often I'm very hard on my oldest...Yet, sometimes she behaves so badly...so impatient and bossy with her just younger sister or just older sister (my stepdaughter). It is so difficult for me. I want to teach her to be patient...and I am so impatient with her impatience!

I appreciate this post from I Live in An Antbed. She talks about figuring out what is the trait that the enemy is perverting in your child and teaching them what they are to be. Her example in her child is stubbornness and the resulting lesson is that God wants the child to be determined, but not stubborn. I need to be patient with my child and teach her, not just correct her. Oh, I pray God will enable me. He has done a work in me thus far, causing me to be more contented, more eternally oriented, more family oriented, but it always feels like there is a chasm from where I should be and where I am.

Lord, help me to be patient myself, to teach my daughter to be meek and patient and eternally oriented. She is such a blessing to me, because I know if I ask her to she will follow my directions exactly and help me. Let her be a blessing to others also, serving them as she serves You. I pray that You would teach her to serve, not only myself, but her sisters, strangers, and you Our Lord.