Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #2 - Agendas


This week’s theme is about sharing your 2008-09
homeschool agendas and plans. You’ve been preparing your plans for sometime and
you’re ready to go. Or you’re still in the planning-stage and need some
inspiration or tips on what to use. Because many use different curriculum and
methods there is always something new to be gleaned from other homeschoolers.
It’s always fun and interesting to see what other’s are using and the WWWWH as Robin
Sampson suggests
. So this week I hope you will share what you’re
doing this year for your homeschool agenda. Share the different curriculum
you’re using. You can also include what age/grade you’re using it for, how long
you’ve been using it, and why you like it.

Please share a Bible verse that has encouraged you
or inspired you during this planning-process, and how.

Ok, I briefly posted on this topic a few weeks ago here , but now that our year has actually gotten started I will update everyone on our plans.

The following subjects I am combining for both of the boys:

History/Geography: We are going through Volume 1 of The Mystery of History together, doing 2 lessons a week. We are keeping a history notebook which includes a timeline for each boy. We are having a lot of fun doing these together. We will also be including some map work in our lessons.

Bible: We are using BJU Bible Truths 2 together for our daily Bible lessons. We are also going to be memorizing the catechism at the beginning of the teacher's manual. Though we have a curriculum for Bible, Bible is sprinkled throughout all of our subjects as we desire to have a God-centered homeschool.

Science: For science this year we are making our own units incorporating living books, experiments, internet, dvd's, notebooking and lapbooking. The boys have chosen to study the following subject areas:
  • Geology (a brief overview of volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.)
  • Weather
  • Insects
  • Electricity
  • Space and Our Solar System

This is the first time I have ever attempted to put together my own studies, so it has been a bit intimidating, but I am trying to let our learning in this area follow a natural progression, taking my lead from the interests of the boys, and not take the feel of a structured curriculum.

Art, music, and PE : We are incorporating these areas into our lessons as opportunities arise. We will be doing a variety of arts and crafts throughout the year that I am still researching and planning. I am looking for materials to use for music instruction and we will be learning some keyboarding.

For Isaiah (7 yrs) :

Language Arts: Our main goal this year for Isaiah is for him to learn to read and gain confidence in this area. We have taken things very slow up to this point, as he is showing signs that this is a troubling area for him. He is going through Abeka Phonics and Reading K and after trying about 5 different curriculums in this area, he is showing progress with this one.

For grammar we are using Grammar and Punctuation 1 and Language Fundamentals 1.

He will also be using a journal to practice using what he learns and as an evaluation tool to check his progress.

Math : Isaiah is halfway through his BJU Math 1 curriculum and will start and hopefully complete BJU Math 2 by fall next year.

Penmanship : For handwriting practice I am making my own worksheets using StartWrite 5.0. We use italic printing style. I have decided not to teach my boys cursive unless they desire to learn it later on their own. I want our focus to be on neat, legible handwriting, not the style in which they write.

For Drew (8 yrs) :

Language Arts: For Phonics and reading we are combining several resources. We are using certain materials from Abeka to review blends and special sounds throughout the year. We are also using Read and Understand: Stories and Activities Grade 2 and it's companion MORE Stories to Read and Understand from Evan-Moor publishers.

For spelling we are adapting Abeka materials for now, but I have my eye on purchasing an Evan-Moor title called Building Spelling Skills: Daily Practice Grade 2.

For grammar and writing we are using Grammar and Punctuation 2 and Language Fundamentals 2from Evan-Moor publishers. Drew is going to be doing more writing this year as we have yet to do any formally. He will be learning about the writing process from start to finish. We are going to be using a mish mash of materials to learn these skills. He also will be keeping a journal.

Math : Drew is halfway through BJU Math 2 and will hopefully complete BJU Math 3 by fall next year.

Penmanship : Just like for Isaiah, for handwriting practice I am making my own worksheets using StartWrite 5.0. Again, I want our focus to be on neat, legible handwriting, not the style in which they write. For Drew he is not doing as many formal handwriting exercises as I am trying to instill the importance of always writing neatly. And all of his formal writing assignments will receive a penmanship grade as well.

If I had to choose one Bible verse that really speaks to me and the needs of my family when planning for our new year it would have to be

Psalm 20:4 (NIV)

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

I know my plans are nothing without HIS divine blessing and provision. I hope you have a blessed year!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cute YouTube Vid for HSers



Lord Help Me!

I found myself frustrated today on several occasions. I think things are starting to get me down a bit. I'm tired, and tired of being broke and barely scraping by. This week has been especially hard. We had enough money to make sure we had formula and diapers, milk, bread and gas for the week. Actually scratch that, we don't have enough gas for the week, and no I'm not quite sure yet how we will rectify that...but I honestly can't even think about it now.

I know the Lord will provide, He always does. And quite honestly that's the only reason it has taken me this long to let our situation get me down. I know He is right beside me and I am so grateful for His presence, especially in times like these. Things have been so out of control since we found out we had to move short notice 2 months ago. We have had to borrow from family repeatedly (thanks guys, you know who you are) and we are still not getting everything paid. I'm not sure if there is a point to all of this, I guess I just needed to vent.

Today I decided we would take a free day from school. The boys watched a few episodes of the Magic Schoolbus and played a couple of file folder games. That was the extent of our academics. Lo and behold, what I wanted to be a relaxing day for all of us turned into a day of feeling like I wanted to scream. The few opportunities I got to relax and do something I WANTED to do, the boys came tearing through the house waking their baby brother up, or they came in the room asking me a billion and one unrelated questions, or I heard them bickering in the next room and had to go mediate...... it was constantly something.

Currently I am finally getting my much needed free time, but I fear it is going to be cut short. It has been a long day and momma is very tired. It just figures. Regardless...


Thank You for today. Thank You for the blessings of each day, whether it is a good one or a bad one. I am thankful for each day I open my eyes and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, my children are smiling, and I can breathe deep. Thank You that you have entrusted my children to me and that you have carried us through this very difficult time. Thank you for the grace You freely give each and every day. Thank You that my sins are removed from me thanks to Your sacrifice. Father, please help me to do better tomorrow. Help me to show more grace to my children and to be patient with them as You are with me. Help me to take the time to cuddle them and tell them I love them. Help me to remember what a blessing I have in them. You are so good Lord. Amen.

Homeschool memoirs #1 - All About You

So here I am to complete this weeks HSBA themed post:

"This week, we want to hear about YOU. The author behind the words. The
Momma behind all the homeschooling kiddos. Just write up something about you,
your family, and your home. How long you’ve been homeschooling and why you
decided to homeschool."

My name is Cassie and I am a homeschooling wife and mother of 4. Right now I have my two school-age boys learning at home. And someday before we know it, our youngest will start preschool at home :(. We are a "blended family" with "his, hers and ours". So keeping up with us can be kinda complicated if you don't know us well, but we don't make a big deal out of the steps and halves thing. We are a family. God brought us together and that's good enough for us! My husband and I met 6 years ago and have been married over 3 years. We were not Christians when we met and I was the first to come to faith in Christ with my husband and children following about a year later.

We have been homeschooling since our oldest son, now 8, was 4. It was not planned to be a permanent plan at the time, nor did we refer to it as homeschooling, but after learning more about it, I was hooked on it! We have been doing it and loving it since! Originally we started because we could not afford traditional preschool, then it was because we didn't want our children to atetnd the school we lived by at the time and couldn't afford private school. Now it is because we believe this is the way God meant for our children to learn and grow closer in relationship to Him. I can't imagine sending my children off to school for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to have a complete stranger teach them about life. I am selfish and I want my husband and I to be the strongest influence in thier lives.

We use a very eclectic mix of materials and curriculum in our lessons. And we have learned with time not to let a certain program tie us down. We are very flexible and I look and listen for cues from my children when planning our lessons. I want them to develop a love for learning. But most of all I want them to learn about God, thier Creator, and develop a lifelong relationship with Him.

Until next week!



Monday, August 25, 2008

School Update (Week 3)

Hello! Well here we are starting our third week of the school year. Things are finally falling into a routine and we are adjusting to having a baby in the house and schooling with a 2 year old here 3 days a week. Last week went very well and we got the majority of our lesson plans done. The boys are doing well this year so far and I am seeing much less complaining and whining when I say it's time to get schoolwork done. They are pretty enthusiastic thus far.

We did a few new and fun things last week. Drew started a new reading "curriculum" last week. We are using a resource from Evan-Moor publishing called Read and Understand: Stories and Activities(grade 2). Each lesson has a leveled story and several pages of activities to complete about the story. It covers comprehension, vocabulary, phonics and other important language arts skills. He really likes the stories and enjoys the activities more than what we were doing before. We are still using Abeka materials to review our phonics rules and blends in addition to using this resource.

Isaiah has now learned all of his short vowel sounds and how to combine them with the initial consonants T and L. He will be learning 2-3 new consonants this week. He is gaining confidence with his reading skills which has made a world of difference.

Last week in history (we are using the Mystery of History curriculum) we learned about creation and Adam and Eve. So as a supplemental activity, we "created" people and creatures out of play doh. I took pictures of the activity...

Isaiah making his play-doh people.
Isaiah making his playdoh people.

And here is Isaiah's Adam, Eve, and dog.
And here is Isaiah's Adam, Eve, and dog.

And here is Drew making his people.
And here is Drew making his people

And here are Drew's Adam, Eve and 2 dogs.  He says they are chihuahuas...
And here are Drew's Adam, Eve, and 2 dogs (he tells me they are chihuahuas).

So you see now what we have been up to this week in school! I will be sure and continue to keep you posted.



Our "School Room"

Well, I promised I would get some pics posted of our schoolroom/dining room, so here they are....

I am still working on tweaking it all to work best for us and I still have quite a bit that's going up on the walls eventually. I also do not have my usual full size marker board as we left it at the old house and have yet to purchase another wallboard and hang it. We decided this time though we are going to mount it on particle board and frame it with trim to make it look nicer and add durability.

This is our markerboard, rules, calendar and behavior charts.
This is our markerboard, rules, weather and behavior charts.

And here is my workspace and shelves.  You can see I have just about whatever I may need within arm's reach!  Took me a while to get it organized the way I wanted it.
And here is my workspace and shelves.
You can see I have just about whatever I may need within arm's reach.
Took a while to get it this way!

And here is another pic of the boys working.  this is with the table turned around the other way.  I think I like it this way better, more room.
And here is another pic of the boys working.
This is with the table turned around the other way.
I think I like it this way better, more room

Here is a shot of the boys sitting at the table doing schoolwork.  We like having it in front of a big window, we get lots of sunshine throughout the day!
Here is a shot of the boys sitting at the table doing schoolwork.
We like having it in front of a big window, we get lots of sunshine throughout the day!

These are our bookcases.  Here we have most of our schoolbooks and supplies that we use often.
These are our bookcases.
Here we have most of our schoolbooks and supplies that we use often.

So now you know what our schoolroom looks like! I hope you enjoyed our pictures!


Some random pics

Here are some photos I had on my camera and recently saved to my pc. Enjoy!

My lil man is one cool dude...don't you think?
My lil man is one cool dude...don't you think? Don't miss the drool goatee.

Isn't this just the cutest pic?  He loves his daddy!
Isn't this just the cutest pic? Joey loves his daddy!

He's such a good big brother..
He's such a good big brother.

NOT a happy camper
NOT a happy camper

A rare pic of momma and baby boy
A rare pic of momma and baby boy

Asleep on sissy's lap
Asleep on sissy's lap


Friday, August 22, 2008

Sorry for the Absence

I know, I know. I said I wasn't going to do this, but hey I am only human. And you have to admit I have done really well up to this point!

As you are likely aware already, we started our new school year last week. It has just been very hectic and busy for me. I have been going to bed pretty much right after Joey does because I am so worn out. So that hasn't left me any time for blogging. I am sorry, I hope I am forgiven?!

Anyhow, I will be making several posts today, so keep your eyes peeled. I have some pictures of the schoolroom to show, pictures of a project we did this week, and of course I have more Joey pictures. I am trying desperately to get some video of him giggling but he has managed to elude the camera at this point. I almost got him last night. I was tickling his ribs (with my mouth) and I got him to laugh about 4 or 5 times. By the time Daddy got the camera going, the laughter had subsided and no matter what I did I could not get him to laugh more :-(. But no worries, I will stay on task. I will get it on video, and soon.

Speaking of Joey, he is waking and I must go upstairs to grab him up and feed him! Til later.....



Monday, August 11, 2008

A Full Day

So today has been a very full day. I got up at 6:30 and babysat until 4. We had our first school day, which we didn't get everything done cuz I was just too tired. But other than that it went well. The boys were enthusiastic and well behaved for their lessons (I'm sure that will wear off in a few days). I honestly don't know why I am still up! I made dinner and dessert (chocolate chip cookie bars). I have yet to clean up my kitchen but I am just too wore out.

And now I am a bit emotional thanks to my dear sister, who posted a very touching blog post this evening. She basically praised me for being a good momma and a good big sis. She let me know that I have been a help and comfort to her when she needed me. How could I ask for more as a big sister? There's so much more I wish I could do and be for her, we need each other! I am so proud of her! She has 4 more months left of school and she will be a vet tech, which has been her dream since she was a little girl. My kiddos love their Auntie Krystle! She will be visiting for a while tomorrow and I can't wait for her to see Joey. It has been about a month since we hung out and he has changed so much since then. Drew is especially anxious to see her as he just adores her.

I am so thankful for my family. I am thankful that I have a sister and a friend. I am thankful that I am able to be there for her when she needs me. I am thankful that God has provided a way for me to keep my children at home with me so that I can teach them and train them in His ways. I am thankful for a husband that loves me and works hard so that I can be at home with my kids. I am thankful for my children....

So much I am thankful for..I could go on forever! Thank You Lord, for my life!

Tomorrow is another full day. I better be off to bed so I am well rested and not crabby with my kiddos! I can lead better by my example than by my empty words.


Friday, August 8, 2008

So Tired

It's been a very long day. It started out on a bad foot, as Joey
slept very restlessly last night and I was up and down off and on all
night, popping his pacifier back in his mouth, turning on his mobile
and laying a hand on his little chest to comfort him. When he woke up
for good this morning around 9, Momma was still very tired and my body
was fighting being awake. I have felt this way most of the day. I would
have loved to take a nap, but Joey never napped longer than half an
hour in a stretch so I was not able to. I feel as if I am trying to
come down with something? Or maybe I just am exhausted.

I sat around all day and did as little as possible. Though I was up and
down a lot taking care of Joey and playing with and entertaining him. I
am never too tired to make my little one smile and coo! Then, after I
finally put him down for the night, I got a small burst of energy. I
got the kitchen cleaned up and dishes washed, straightened the living
room and vacuumed downstairs. What a blessing! Now when I wake in the
morning I can take my time waking up and enjoying my children instead
of playing catch up all day!

I had the boys clean their room before bed and had them bring me down all the laundry that wouldn't fit into their hamper (yes I am that behind on their
laundry). So I will be doing their laundry tomorrow and likely Friday
too. But at least I am pretty well caught up on towels and Joey's
clothes. And I need to do 1 or 2 loads of our laundry also.

I am getting a system going here in the new place slowly but surely. By
the time we start lessons I would like to have a chore schedule set up
for me and the kids. I am really taking the time to train them to clean
up after themselves after meals, including washing their plates and
cups as they dirty them and clearing and wiping the table. I would also
like them to take turns vacuuming around the table daily as the carpet
tends to collect crumbs and paper scraps etc. I'm sure that will only
get worse when we start lessons next week.

On a joyful note, I am finding the new place much easier to keep clean and
clutter free. Our new furniture looks wonderful and actually takes up
less room. I will have to get a picture posted soon so you can see how
nice it all looks...maybe tomorrow? Or maybe I'll post a video tour,
who knows....

Anyway, this evening I am thankful for a clean house, sleeping kids, and a bit of free time. Hopefully I can be thankful in the morning for a good nights rest!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ahhh chooo!

I know, I know.... I didn't post much yesterday. But I had a really good reason, honest! I was too busy sneezing my head off all day. It didn't start until I had been up for a few hours, but when it started it just would not ease up. I took a small nap early in the evening and then I still went to bed at 9:30! I was miserable! Going to bed early didn't help much cause I tossed and turned and sniffled all night. Have you ever had one of those nights where your nose just wouldn't stay clear for more than 5 minutes? That was the kind of night I had.

Thank God I feel better today. I think it was just allergies. Something was really messing with me bad yesterday. I took claritin and benadryl to no avail. I am feeling much better and it's a good thing too, because we are starting school on Monday and I will also start keeping a 2 year old little boy 3 days a week so I need to be in peak condition!

I will be spending today and tomorrow getting our prep done for the week and I need to finish readying the school room. I hope you have a great weekend!


The Many Blessings of Today

Today was a very good day. I was prepared to have another one of those frustrating, exhausting days but not so! I got up to a clean house, a clean kitchen and an empty sink. I met my laundry goal for the day and even got it all put away with the boys' help. I made a good dinner. I got to visit with a dear friend and I had great fun playing with her 2 year old son. Joey was in a wonderful mood all day and spent time playing and observing others without complaint when Mommy needed to do other things and couldn't hold him. The boys were generally good all day and there was very little bickering. And to top it all off, my husband will be home very early in the morning instead of tomorrow afternoon from his run (he is a truck driver if you did not already know). Thank You Lord for the blessings of a wonderful day. I pray to have many more like it!

Have you taken the time to thank God for the small blessings of today? :-)


I can't believe I almost forgot to share the new thing Joey
learned today! He is learning to blow raspberries. They are not very
long or loud, and very slobbery, but he can do it after only 2 days of
me showing him off and on. He does it using his lips not his tongue and
I have a feeling I will soon regret teaching him this new skill,
especially during feeding time. But that's ok, it's a small price to
Gosh he's smart!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Joey's First Squeal

Tonight I was playing with Joey on the floor after getting him
ready for bed. He had his tummy filled with his cereal bottle and was
as happy as a lark. I started blowing raspberries at him and he was
cooing and smiling and trying to imitate the sound. So I decided to get
the camera out and take some video.
Watch this
clip and you can see what happened next. It's about halfway through the
video so make sure to watch the whole thing! Enjoy!


Oh it's been another one of those days, where all the children
seem to do is pick and bicker at one another. It's days like these I
wish I could take a vacation.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids with all that I am, I just want to enjoy their
company a bit more than I do. I find myself sending them into another
room so I don't have to listen to them argue and fight. Yes, I have
tried separating them, but it doesn't do any good. As soon as they are
together again the bickering ensues.

These daysI find myself praying for a peaceful house more and more. I know they need more discipline and that's my failing not theirs. It's just sooo
frustrating sometimes! I'm sure those of you with more than one child
understands exactly what I mean. I am really going to pray about this
and I must find a solution that works because I can't deal with it
every day. It's wearing me down and I refuse to put up with it anymore.

The thing that gets me is I have taught them the skills they need to deal
with issues, they just don't use them. I've taught them to walk away
and to just accept that they may not agree and that's ok. I honestly
think they enjoy arguing about every little meaningless thing under the

My children are unkind to one another. Oh how painful it is for me to say that out loud (or type it rather). I must teach them to value one another and embrace the things that make them different. I just have to figure out HOW....... sigh.

They Grow Up so Fast

Today I am feeling nostalgic. I look at my precious Joey-bean and
I am in awe of big he is! My tiny, sweet 6lb 12oz baby boy is now a
chubby, sweet 12 pounder! He has grown over 3 inches since he came into
the world and does so many wonderful things. He can hold his head up
extremely well, he can coo and gurgle, he can smile a huge gummy grin,
he can hold his hands together and gum on them, and now he is trying to
sit up on his own! It's just not fair! I waited 8 years to have
another lil' one to hold and cuddle and time is going by much too
quickly. His daddy and I would love to be able to keep him little
forever, but it's not gonna happen. He is becoming a bit more demanding
as he grows which is to be expected. He is a generally happy baby and
is my little ray of sunshine. All he has to do is smile or gurgle and
he melts my heart instantly.
We have watched
this same thing happen with all of our children and it makes me proud
yet sad all at the same time. Jazz, who was a little girl of only 6
when I met her daddy, is now 11. She looks more and more like a young
woman and less like a child. She will be starting middle school in a
few weeks. She is very good with her baby brother, making him smile and
coo on a regular basis. Her other brothers infuriate and frustrate her
on a regular basis (isn't that what little brothers do best?) and she
is a professional at eye-rolling and sarcasm. She would much rather
hang with adults than play with her brothers and holds her own very
well in conversation, though she often thinks of herself as being older
than she is which can present some issues, but we are working on that!
She has a very quick wit (like daddy) and has a great sense of humor.
She is still, and I'm sure always will be, a daddy's girl.
is as tall as my shoulder and as thin as a rail. Daddy affectionately
calls him a stick figure on a regular basis. He is a good reader and
loves making up stories and drawing pictures of super heroes and
villains of his own creation. He also loves to make his baby brother
smile and coo. He loves to make up songs and dances and can be very
entertaining. He gave us all a very good scare the weekend before last
and wiped out real bad on his scooter. He hit a patch of loose gravel
and skidded onto his face. In addition to road rash on several body
parts, he managed to hit his chin so hard that when we took him to the
hospital for stitches, they cleaned it out and you could see the bone.
Thank God daddy was home to keep him calm and take him to the ER, cause
I get queasy just remembering it. My baby was hurt real bad and it made
me sick to think of it. He was really tough and his stitches came out
yesterday. he promptly went swimming this morning as he couldn't the
whole time he had them in. I remember how he would say mama when he was
a wee one, how he loved to bounce and spin in his exersaucer, how he
loved to wear anyone's shoes but his own and how I loved watching his
chubby little face while slept in my arms. It seems like yesterday, but
8 years have gone by....and my first baby is no longer a baby, but
forever my baby in heart.
Isaiah, our little
ball of energy, is getting so big. He is just a few inches shorter than
his brother, though they can wear the same size (waist) in pants. He is
a little stockier than Drew. Daddy comments all the time about how I
have "wussified" him, LOL! He used to fear nothing, to the point of
being scary. He has cal,ed down a lot as far as that goes. Just the
other day when the kids were taking the trash out, he was stung 3 times
by bees. Poor thing squealed all the way back to the porch. Mommy took
him in and sprayed the bites with dermoplast and he was fine. He is
doing well with his schoolwork, especially his math and anything
artsy-crafty I give him to do. We were reminiscing just the other day
about how he used to call Drew "Doo Doo". He has changed so much since
I first started help raise him. He was just shy of 2 when I started
taking care of him. He used to be the type of kid who was perfectly
content to take a toy to a corner of the room and play quietly for
hours all alone. Now he is a very active, bubbly and LOUD little boy.
The kid CAN"T sit still and play video games, do schoolwork, eat.... or
anything else for that matter. I am so thankful I am able to
homeschool, cause he the type of kid who I think the school system
would label ADHD. He is very bright and loveable and loves to snuggle,
especially with Daddy. If brother Drew is not around for him to play
with, the poor kid is lost. He does not enjoy being by himself at all
like he did when he was younger. He is very curious about everything
and asks a million questions daily.
I guess the
point of all this is to say my kiddos are growing in so many ways, and
I just wish I could freeze them in time for a little while. I should
be, and I really am, thankful that they are growing and healthy......
but it doesn't make it any easier to accept that before we know it,
they will all be all grown up. Ah the joys and sorrows of parenting!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Kids Say the Funniest Things...

Today we had our new furniture delivered and of course my boys were right in the thick of it all...
Drew: oooh, cool tables mom, did you pick those out?
Me: Yes, and daddy chose the lamps.
Isaiah: (as delivery guys are bringing in the loveseat) Mommy, is that the couch or the love handles?
Needless to say, we gave the delivery guys a good laugh....

A New School Year Begins Soon...

So here I sit at my pc in our new home, in our new school room
(which also doubles as a dining room) with just about all of our things
organized and put away in their newly created "proper places". And as
much as I have accomplished since we first moved three weeks ago, I am
still burdened by the knowledge that I must finish my planning for the
year, I still need to assemble and bind the boys' portfolios for last
year, I still need a new marker board and I need to peruse the shelves
of our local used bookstore for good books covering the various science
topics the boys have chosen to study this year. I am also, for the
first time, going to be figuring out HOW to get things done every day
with a baby in tow and make sure that everyone's needs are addressed.
Who ever said that being a homemaker isn't challenging?

I recently found a free e-book for the kids to use in making a Family
Notebook and I think I will be using it the first week of school along
with Bible and Math. I will also be reviewing what Isaiah had learned
at the end of the year in reading with him to make sure he is up to
speed and ready to pick up where he left off. I think it's a good idea
to ease into things, there is so much that's new and different about
"doing school" this year.

We also have a lot
of intense catching up to do this year, and our school year will not
end until Drew has completed 3rd grade math and Isaiah 2nd grade math.
We are a bit behind in that according to grade level but I am not
worried. They are both excellent in math and BJU is written in a way
where theres a lot of repetition and review, so there are things we can
speed through to get there. I am going to allow Drew to speed through
the rest of his phonics and reading curriculum as he is doing
wonderfully with his reading skills. For him I am focusing this year on
Spelling and Writing. I will also be cutting down his penmanship
lessons, as he gets very tired with all the practice in cursive. I want
to make sure he is able to write daily journal entries and other
writing assignments. We are going to be doing unit studies for Science
and I allowed the boys to pick from a list of topics to study. They
have chosen to study electricity, space and the solar system, geology
(a basic overview), insects and bugs, and weather. For history we will
be going through The Mystery of History Vol.1 and keeping notebooks and
making timelines. And of course we are still using BJU Bible Truths
curriculum for our Bible studies.

I am excited
yet stressed about the science units because making my own unit studies
is new to me. My plan is to use the internet, living books,
experiments, hands-on activities and using notebooks and lapbooks to
show what we learn along the way. The boys enjoy these activities wayyyy
more than worksheets and I really want them to enjoy this part of our
school time so they can develop a love for real life learning.

So now you know our plans for the year! Please pray for us as we venture into another year together at home.

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