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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My first Blog Award!!!!

Blogging our home school journey is a way for me to stay focused, be encouraged (when I look back and see what we have accomplished) and connect with other moms around the world doing the same thing. I have already met some wonderful friends through blogging, one in particular is Mama Jenn! Her blog was one of the first I found when I started exploring homeschooling.. she is such an inspiration to me as she is a mom to a daughter and TWO sets of twin boys ... and the oldest is only 6!!!! When I feel myself becoming weary I think of her!!! Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was honoured when she awarded me with this Friend Award!! Thanks Jenn!!!

So I now pass this award to my friend Vanessa who has been my friend since we were little kids... she inspires me because after studying architecture and working in that field for a while she decided to go back to school... to MEDICAL school!!! And she has done all this while raising kids! I am proud of her for all she has accomplished. She has just started blogging and I can't wait to follow her adventures here!

Friday, October 16, 2009

We have a Garden!!

I have been wanting to plant a garden with the kids... so last weekend we made it a family project...

JDF preparing the ground
He did a great job!

the kids examining the work!

at the plant store

Buttercup carrying the seeds in her basket

learning the ropes

planting carrot seeds...

green bean seeds...

the black eye pea shoots we grew in plastic cups when we were studying " God made light to help things grow"...
even Mama got her hands dirty!

and here we go... carrots, green beans, green onions, tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, parsley, thyme, basil... we'll keep you posted on the progress :)

of course there had to be time for silliness!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tot School- Sept 28 to Oct 9

Tot School

It seems that Tot School and Preschool are rolled all into one in our house... with LiLi and Buttercup so close in age, they like the same activities and each wants to do what the other is doing. I am trying to put together tot school activites that I can make a little more challenging for LiLi but still fun for Buttercup. In addition to gross and fine motor skills, we work on a letter, shape and colour to encorporate LiLi's preschool program.

Here is a look at some things we did for the past 2 weeks...

We use a perpetual calendar I put together using printables from Sparklebox and each day we go over the "Seven Days" song and the "Months of the Year" song as we change the pieces of the calendar. (note the picture is from a few weeks ago:)

For our bible lessons we were talking about God creating light and for science we covered various topics related to light. The day we talked about shadows I snapped this picture of us while we were on a walk.

We worked on the letter F-

Finger painting...
Fishing for letters. (I froze small magnetic letters in ice cube trays and then floated the ice cubes in water) they had to say the letter the "caught"...

feeding the fish...

Letter jumping... (write letters in chalk and let them jump on the letter I call out- for LiLi I will say a word and he will jump on the letter it starts with).
I made up a Fish game for them by printing out several cards with different fish on them and some blank cards. Turn them all over and spread them out and take turns "fishing" for a card. The person that ends up with the most fish wins... we all enjoyed that game.

The colour of the week was yellow

We went on a colour walk to identify things that were yellow (don't ask about the hats and boots, it was a case of monkey see monkey do!)...yellow colour hunt... I put several items in a jar and Buttercup pulled out the yellow things and put them in her basket.

for fine motor skills they put spagetti through the holes in a spice jar.. this one kept their attention for a while.I also had them thread pasta onto a ribbon.. for LiLi I added a twist...he had to count the number of dots on each piece and put them on the ribbon in order.

I used these whole fruit and half fruit printables from "Montessori for everyone" for LiLi to match the whole fruit with it's half. Then we played a memory game with the cards so Buttercup could join in.

Writing in cornmeal (although Butttercup found it more fun to throw it all over the place:)
We had great family time too! Daddy took us on a nature walk... it's always great when he can join us!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Reason No2. Raising Rock Stars

What I love about Homeschooling: Reason No.2

One of our decisions to homeschool involved being able to teach and reinforce biblical standards in our children on a constant basis. Starting when Kai Kai was a baby, we have daily read and studied God's word with the kids. Serving Jesus Christ is not just one small piece of our family, but it is the life that we aim to live. We are far from perfect but it is our intention that we raise our kids to know and love God and to know that is possible to have a meaningful relationship with the Creator of our universe!

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:4 to " bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord" and one of my guiding verses since I became a parent has been Deuteronomy 6:5-9
"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 door frames of your houses and on your gates."

This is what God commanded the Israelites... it was and still is the parent's responsibility primarily to pass on the faith to the next generation. Church programs are good but I feel strongly we can not depend on an hour at Sunday School and maybe an hour at Friday night youth group to meet the spiritual needs of our children. Thus my second reason for loving homeschooling is that we can infuse the love of God and Christian values into everything we teach our kids.

I want to be intentional about building biblical character in my kids and at the beginning of our homeschool journey the Lord laid Philippians 2: 14 & 15 on my heart:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

I started talking to the kids about being shining stars and how our behaviour and attitude reflect what is in our heart. All through the day I can do an attitude check with the kids and ask them if they are shining like stars... I do this whether they are exhibiting good or not so good behaviour so they themselves can begin to recognize the difference.

Imagine my excitement when I read this blog post by Carisa at 1+1+1=1. Like me Carisa saw the need to be intentional in teaching her children to shine like she put it "I want them to learn to stand firm on the foundation of Jesus Christ-the SOLID ROCK and shine for the world like BRIGHT STARS for HIM!!!!" She has started a weekly blog posting to highlight what she's doing each week to accomplish this goal. She has invited others to join her so I am jumping in! As I link up with other mom's around the blog world I hope that I will learn even more and find inspiration for making this Christian walk exciting for my 3 little Rock Stars!

Raising Rock Stars

Bible Lessons

The curriculum I am using for LiLi has a Bible portion which they use to tie in Science, social studies and language. Instead of doing 3 different things with each child, we start each day going through this bible portion of the curriculum. We are currently moving slowly through creation. For the last month we have studied Genesis 1:1 - 5 & John 14 and covered such topics as:
  • God is our father
  • God is ever present
  • the concept of the trinity
  • Jesus is in heaven preparing a place for us
  • God made light
  • the opposite of light is darkness
  • Light is important for all living things
  • Light causes shadows
  • when God made light he made it so it will reflect off certain objects
  • Light is beautiful and God said it is good can see the science emphasis woven tightly with the Word of God! We have had fun exploring all the aspects of light, measuring shadows, reflecting the sun onto a wall using an old CD, planting black eye peas in a clear plastic cup and watching them push out roots and stems (so many spiritual implications!) As we move through the 7 days of creation I can't wait to see all the fantastic things we will learn.

Scripture Memory

The verses they have been learning are Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:3... the kids have always loved scripture memory and even Buttercup can recite these!

This week I also downloaded Songs for Saplings (scripture set to music for each letter of the alphabet) and I am tying in LiLi and Buttercup's letter of the week. Since we are on letter F this week, we are also learning Prov 17:17 a friend loves at all times.

Kai Kai has joined the Word of Life Olympian Club at our church, so we use this time to memorize the motto and pledges he needs to learn in order to become a member in the program.


My next step is to start a family prayer journal with the kids so they can start to see how God answers our prayers. I am sure in years to come it will be awesome to look through and see how God takes care of our family.

Quiet time

They continue to have Quiet time in the morning with daddy and look forward to that time before he goes to work.. they use the Word of Life quiet time diary which I would highly recommend to anyone with young kids wanting to get them in the Word on a daily basis.


I have a blank wall in the classroom that I have been wondering what to do with, so I think I am going to decorate it with a star theme to remind us to be shining stars and to remind me when I get weary that I truly am raising ROCK STARS!!!

click here to find out how others are Raising Rock Stars.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What I love about Homeschooling- Reason No. 1

I was talking to a friend I saw in the grocery store last week... she is exploring the idea of homeschooling and was asking me how things were going... as I was talking to her about my experience so far, I began to realize that there are a number of reasons I love homeschooling already and I am sure the list will continue to grow as we continue along this journey. I am going to do a series of sorts called "What I love about Homeschooling". It won't be a regular posting, but I will randomly post a reason every so often which may serve to encourage someone who is considering this as an option for their family.

Reason No 1.

Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not an event.

When I started out on this journey, homeschooling in my mind was an alternative method of schooling to the traditional public or private school option. I pictured a specific time of day that the kids would be sitting at their desks, or at the craft table working on projects, I imagined myself at a whiteboard explaining concepts, at my desk grading papers, I imagined shifting from mom to teacher and back to mom at specific times of the day...

But in reality, what I am learning is there is a BIG difference between school at home and homeschooling. School is an event, homschooling is a lifestyle. Accepting that means accepting that school happens wherever we are, whatever we are doing, it is accepting that everyday will be different, it is accepting that a schedule is good but it is not the end of the world if you stray from it, it is accepting that perfectly filled out worksheets are not the only indicator of what my child is learning, it is accepting that I am not a failure if I have a day were we do not open a book. I am glad I am learning this early in my journey... it has given me much peace about our decision to homeschool and it has given me clarity and confidence in my role as teacher/mommy.

If you homeschool I'd love to hear some reasons you love it!