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February began with a wind storm;
a 90 min wind storm that created a bit of local havoc.
Fences were crushed, a few cars smashed, roofs of some were demolished.

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In turn, all our beautiful old growth behind our house was taken down.  A whole row of fir trees that lined around the backside of our neighborhood.  Kind of sad, but we are still fortunate to still get a great nature view!

My last post Winter is Blowing by… part 1
was about some fun daily activities
we do with mostly my preschool/childcare kids.
This post is more sharing about our homeschool activities.

In the morning:

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While I am doing our Preschool lesson hour,
my boys are in my (the parents) room doing their math.
By themselves?  Mostly, yes.  They are working hard on math facts, along with a few other things, and they know if they have any questions they will have to wait until until the hour is up.  Quite frankly, they rarely need assistance, and work quite fabulous together.

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My daughter also opts to do math in the parents room also.
I’m pretty sure they enjoy the view that I mentioned at the top of this post.

After lunch:

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We read books to the littles before settling them for a nap.

Then the afternoon is set for reading time (literature),

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followed by our writing time.
This day we worked on synonyms for the word peace.
We have been emphasizing stronger verbs to use,
and are still going over adjectives.

Writing consists of penmanship practice, copywork, writing to penpals, and working on essay skills.  It’s coming along nicely, partly because Katie sits in on the lessons with the boys and participates, thus they learn by peer example.  Katie is also working through a writing program called Advanced Writing Resources, on her own time.

Followed by:

self-led interests… such as…

Katie (14)- French, crocheting, blogging
Andrew (11)- comic books (charlie brown style) to read, often draws his own stories.
Bryson (7)- geography.  Using our GeoSafari learning games, our interactive globe, and my phone (he is fascinated with maps).

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We have also enjoyed a few nature walks this month…

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as we continued our evergreen study.

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Admittedly, it’s been quite wet here in the pacific northwest
so we haven’t been out venturing as often as we like.

In the evenings:

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Our time to explore interests together.
I use to call this time our “morning time”
when we use to open our days doing this…
now that we have implemented childcare into our schedule,
I have found the evenings to be a perfect fit for this.
We call it Table time,
which instills some quality time with the kids
so they still feel they have their mom’s attention,
and also a fabulous way to decrease media habits,
and the bonus is that it has created
a more mellow transition to bed time.

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Table Time consists of:

a read aloud-
Often a history biography, although currently enjoying
The Burgess Animal Book for Children,
in which I often pull up sounds and real videos
of the animals we are reading about (on my phone).
Kind of cool really.

Timelines/map work is easily implemented with history reads
Classification charts for the animal kingdom
is what I am currently beginning with my kids
to compliment the book we are reading.
Hoping they begin a diorama soon.

Bible-
We read scripture, as well as discuss character traits, and ponder on the prayer needs around us.

Art-
doodle art, sketches, journaling, clay sculpting, crafts;
with the intent of classical music in the background.

It usually take an hour before bedtime.
I’m enjoying the calmness of it all.

“Winter comes to you, quietly. It arrives at that one precise moment when the atmosphere turns an almost indescribable shade of blue-gray and is at its best in the Indiana countryside. It shows itself to you in a snowy, late afternoon and can be seen best while gazing across a tree lined field or a meadow where everything the snow touches becomes a new piece of God’s handiwork. When time has found exactly the right moment, from every direction there comes an amazing crescendo of silence and, in that silence, nature whispers in your ear to tell you just how right things can sometimes be. Winter smells like marshmallows melting in hot chocolate. It sounds like embers popping inside the fireplace and looks like an old stone hearth where the cat sleeps and basks itself beside the smoky warmth of burning hickory. And the best part of winter comes to you, quietly. ”    -F.C. Wade

 

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January went by fast…

we had spent the month enjoying our Winter Theme.

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Our nature tree was as naked as the trees outside,
so we added our winter mitten craft to add some color.
We included some mitten games while we were at it.

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as well as having had enjoyed some hot cocoa days.
Need an easy hot cocoa recipe?
Here’s one from my daughter; enjoy
Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

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Books and winter activities were a blast,
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as we were teased by a few dustings of snow.

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Outside we adventured a few nature walks in the brisk air.

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Inside we enjoyed circle time with our preschool friends,
as well as some table time activities.

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Indeed, none of these littles are mine.
I’m not sure when it happened,
but my “littles” are no longer little.  *sigh*

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The older kids entertain themselves well.
(The two on the left are my “littles”,
see what I mean?  not.so.little)

I’m so grateful to spend my days with all these people;
littles, bigs, and the handful of moms I get to enjoy each week!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.”       ― Edith Sitwell

 

martinluther

Martin Luther King Jr Day-

A day we don’t take off from school,
but rather reflect on it’s meaning (and divine purpose).

Katie-girl created the meme above as her assignment.
We came to the conclusion that God’s Golden rule …
“Do to others what you would have them do to you”
is the quickest path to peace.

I find Martin Luther King Jr’s quote,
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that”,
to be quite profound. 

Why do we still struggle, cept by sin alone.
Evil exists, but so does hope.

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Our family discussed that each one of is a part of the peace process.

To understand that concept better,
we wrote down all the words that could mean peace
(on a dove as a symbol of peace).

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…on the other side of our dove we did fingerprints of ethnic diversity,
as a symbol that Jesus Loves All the Children (people) of the World.
(yes, that is a Sunday School song *smile*)

We also watch a Reading Rainbow episode on Martin Luther King Jr,
as well as listen to his (famous) speech.

What God inspired in Dr King ain’t no holiday…
it should be a life style. 

“To recognize that all men are created equal,
that we may all be judged not by the color of our skin,
… but by the content of our character,
that we should all be able to sit down at the table of brotherhood
… together.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

What do you choose?

I began blogging in 2008 with this opening statement:

To New Beginnings…

Ah yes, the changing tides of life are upon us…life is so fast, and as one child begins his new journey in our loving home, our oldest son ventures out to face the world…thus the desire to share ‘the little things’ with those we love…Life is a journey, not a destination!

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It was a fresh new beginning in many ways that year.  The biggest one being that I had closed a chapter on my years of providing daycare for many lovely families.  Baby #6 was born that year, and we were in a new season… I was in a new season… to learn to just “be”.
Just be a mom, just be at home, just be still even…

In the last 8 years I’ve learned to embrace intentional parenting, to guide a self-led learner in their homeschool journey, face special needs with a gentle approach, and endure an highly sensitive (albeit gifted) child…

we have moved 6 times; have had a mother (-in-law) with severe dementia get diagnosed, live with us, then live in a care facility near us; have had 3 young adults take turns in 3 consecutive years living with us for their own reason and season; we’ve graduated two homeschool students, and have seen our oldest son marry the girl of his dreams…

It’s been a blessed journey.

And the voyage continues…

This year is different.  

Instead of adventures outside of the home,
such as field trips, co ops, and homeschooling alongside other families, sports, random park days, etc…

we are now creating them inside the home,
such as providing childcare, offering a preschool co op in my house, and still encompassing learning from home.

It’s been a huge transition for us.

We went from following a rhythm to our days, where we had guidelines
but could embrace the moments in life as they came.
It was a low key and very effective way to learn and live in our family environment.

Now…

we follow a schedule,
not just a schedule for my own days activities with my kids and care kids,
but also the care kids parent’s work schedules, sports schedules, public school schedules, etc…

The hours are long, unpredictable, and busy…

my stay-at-home responsibilities are still in high demand as well…
and some days I question my sanity (as in why am I doing all this?)…

yet I already know the answer.

~To share Christ’s love.

I admit I have to do a lot of things to make this all work, family life and all…

but more importantly…

I get to…
*play with little people all day
*do what I love to do
*follow God’s lead for my life
*show God’s grace in our daily lives
*cultivate friendships with other moms
*show my kids that endurance with the right attitude means everything.

So I welcome 2016 and all it has to offer!

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 4-7

We, as homeschool parents,  had good intention
of Fridays being SO creative, clever, cunning;
a day to explore nature, share projects, experiment ideas…

cept life happens, right?

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Thankfully our homeschool buddy’s mom is as flexible as I am.
So when her baby is feeling under the weather or I am struggling to breathe,
we commit to being understanding of each other…

so some days get called off at the last moment,
and other days are fine detailed in educational entertainment,
and this day, we simply winged it, and had fun anyways.

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Having hands on projects make everyone happy!

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Our homeschool buddy is definitely enjoying it.

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The dear daughter took it another step and created some…

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Flubber fun!!

Who wouldn’t have a ball with this much excitement?

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We had “guest” students in class today!

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Learning about Adjectives

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while learning some phonics and spelling rules;
y = the long e sound
(grammar)

POPCORN

while enjoying a snack!

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Next was history

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Where we read that the Israelites received Manna by morning,
(cooking class for all ages, yumm)

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and Quail by evenings.
(arts and crafts)

We followed up the bird topic by learning all about nest parasites;
the cow birds; Thank you Wild Kratts
(nature science)

while having pizza for lunch.

And finally…

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getting ready for battle;

RECESS at it’s homeschool finest!

*Childcare does not need to be an interference to homeschool
but rather an encouragement to share the FUN!!!

Our guests were a delight,  and I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the day too!

Letter Cc week

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Our OCTOBER sensory bin seems to compliment the Cc week theme.

I can’t believe how much everyone of ALL ages loves this bin.
Even parents play with it; me included.  *smile*

MONDAY

Cc is for Caterpillar

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We used brown construction paper of a child’s hand and arm for a tree branch, added a cut out leaf, and created a pom pom caterpillar.

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Snack was a caterpillar (grapes) on a large romaine leaf…

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This cutie decided to be the caterpillar and eat the leaf herself!

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We then did a Color sort to Create our Caterpillars

WEDNESDAY

Cc is for Car

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Admittedly, I found this idea here at Crystal & Co.
I thought is was pretty cute!

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We then used our toy cars to roll in paint to paint with.
I was hoping for a more track like effect, but hey,
they’re preschoolers,and they had fun!

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The kids really enjoyed red light, green light.
*This is a game that I overly emphasize with my own kids, then also any kids in my care.  We start first with the signs; stop, go, slow… once the kids are familiar with the motions, we switch to “green light”, “red light”, and “yellow light”.  Eventually the signs are no longer used, but I continue the “game” randomly; in the house, on our nature walks, during outdoor play.  Soon it becomes second nature to respond when I shout “red light” as all the kids will “freeze”, then begin to play again when I say “green light”.  My reasoning on such a lesson is that it is highly effective when one is at the grocery store, in parking lots, or within crowded places to get a child to respond immediately to a request.  Ever have a kid just not paying attention, where you needed them to stop and look around before continuing on?  I have! plenty of times.  This “game” is a life saver.  Give it a try. 

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Lastly, we used chalk to draw our town,
train tracks and all.  Kids played outside for a long time.

FRIDAY

Cc is for Clouds

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I had the kids use cotton ball “clouds” to paint clouds on sky colored paper.

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We followed that simple activity with “cloud” play;
ie shaving cream on a cookie sheet!!  Fun stuff!

Fun game to follow…

“that cloud looks like….”

of course this has to be done on a somewhat clear but cloudy day.
Overcast days just aren’t the same, eh?

Normally, I would have had my older kids follow up this activity with a more in-depth concept about clouds themselves, but this day was just a whim of an idea for our youngest student, the 2 yr old.

 

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