Monday, January 14, 2013

Hey Friends! An update on us & curriculum

It's been WAY too long since I've checked it! If you have read my last few posts you know this school year hasn't gone as planned, but God's grace is sufficient & just what we need! On October 31 we found out we are pregnant with baby #4!!! Which meant 2 months of HORRIBLE sickness, not morning sickness...hyperemesis! YUCK! But praise the Lord it has passed & I am now in my 2nd trimester & we are back to normal life! Well normal for us :)

We weren't able to to do any school due to the severity of my sickness, but now we are back & on a roll! Before my blog hiatus I didn't get around to posting some of the fun stuff we had been doing so keep your eyes open & ready for those posts!

Brady is doing well in 2nd grade & I have updated & made a few changed in his curriculum. He is using Horizons for spelling & its going great! The various worksheets come in handy for him to practice each day & that has helped me out tremendously! We got behind with MFW but are picking it back up & adding Road Trip USA from Confessions of a Homeschooler soon! Brady has loved learning about the USA & asks lots of questions about all the different states, so instead of using the net level of MFW net year we will continue to do Road Trip USA & dedicate one week for each of the 50 states including Washington DC for a total of 51 weeks so we are looking at a full year of US Geography. Of course we will take breaks in our school year, but since we homeschool it doesn't matter if we finish in the middle of the school year or not. Both Brady & I are VERY excited about this!

He is also doing Singapore math & we really like it a lot. Before we get back to using it again we are taking a few weeks to relearn our addition & subtraction facts before we move on to harder stuff. I want to be sure Brady is ready to move on with a good foundation in place! Brady completed he's reading program from Hooked On Phonics so now we are just reading for fun & doing various worksheets we copy from the Resource Center on specific skills. As far as Bible goes, we use the Beginner's Bible & Brady reads a story from it each day & we talk about it. We also use the Bible lessons from MFW & enjoy watching What's In the Bible DVDs! For Science we go along with our MFW curriculum & do whatever seasonal things that come  up or whatever the boys decide they are interested in.

Rylan is doing great with Horizions Preschool books! The worksheets are great for him! Of course I add fun hands-on stuff & use lots of fun things from 1+1+1=1. He won't complete the workbooks for awhile since we didn't start them til recently, but when he's ready for "Kindergarten" I will also add in Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten, You Can Read & Hooked on Phonics for K.

As for Keller my lil tot, it's just intentional play! We talk about letters & count together as we read & play. He LOVES to color & do "school" when he notices his big brothers working & demands a pencil or crayon & a book or paper.

I hope you all have been doing great! If you are interested in seeing our day to day pictures of what we do you can follow me on name is MommaAsh & don't forget to check out my other blog about my Jesus Journey.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Letting Go, Changing Plans, Moving Forward

I had the MOST awesome homeschool year planned out for my kiddos! I researched & took time to look at what they needed to learn, reviewed curriculum, borrowed books, or bought some cheaply, or didn't buy at all! I had planned to do my own math curriculum because as a former elementary teacher I know what he needs to  know by when & I'm completely confident in myself. I had found free printables & such for my preschooler online that I loved & knew I could totally put together fun ideas to teach him. It would take time to plan, print, copy, & laminate, but I knew I had the complete ability to do it all!

But then the ball dropped. Hard. then it rolled & took on the snowball effect & we got more & more off course. I've been super busy with ministry stuff & a new part time job, not mention staying home & schooling 3 boys: 7, 4, & almost 2. Time is not on my side, 24 hours doesn't do it.

I have to sleep. I need to have quiet time. I'm trying to lose weight & get healthy so we can get pregnant again. My house needs updating on paint (BADLY). I just couldn't & can't do it all. No way. No how. No matter how hard I want to & how hard I try...I just can't.

I decided to not beat myself up. I found a preschool curriculum by Horizons complete with videos, workbooks, music etc. It was a lot more than I ever planned or would normally spend! After sitting at this very computer & praying I knew I needed to take this plunge. My 2 year old could take part in some things & so cute & fun we can totally use year after year 2-5 years of age if needed! It covers everything from letter recognition, sounds, number recognition to early addition, science, character building, Bible, social studies, etc! I'll use it as fast or as slow as needed & I just cut out hours of planning, prinitng, laminating, etc etc etc!! Whoo hoo!!! YEA ME!! (Really praise Jesus for giving me this epiphany!!)

I also gave my 7 year old a placement test & decided on using Singapore Math because of the higher order thinking skills it uses. I really liked Horizons spiral plan, but the reviews & thinking skills Singapore would teach him won me over. Again I just shaved off hour of all the planning I would've had to do.

The best part about all of this? No it's not really the time saving factor, it's that I don't feel guilt or failure for having to change my plans & let go of this "dream" I had. That is the power of Christ in me. Helping me, nurturing me, & reminding me that in Him there is NO condemnation & just because all these other homeschool mommas can seemingly "do it all" it is perfectly ok that I can't. I can take an easier road, press on & move forward.

I will still add in fun themes here & there as time allows, but in this season, this momma needs a break!

I still have blogs to write on our Letter F & H & about my 2nd grader's journey so far this year. We have had lots of fun & I'm excited to share it all with you whenever I can!

Many blessings to you all!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Prayers Needed for Momma

This summer has not gone as planned to say the least! Sickness has overwhelmed us & for the last 3 weeks its been me :( I was diagnosed with strep July 11 & since then I haven't been fully well. My glands all over my body will randomly swell up & I think the antibiotic has had some side effects with other areas of my body if you catch what I'm saying....if you don't...well I'm far too modest & embarrassed to go into detail so just pray for me any way ;P

Some days I feel normal, then the next day I'm completely wiped out. Some days my glands are normal, then others they are swollen & today is one of those days :( My throat is killing me & my ears are stinging. I have an appointment later today to have some tests done to see if they can tell what the deal is & why I can's just get well.

Please pray for me! I just want healing in Jesus Name! I haven't had the energy to school in a week & its been tough to say the least. I appreciate your prayers & will give you an update as soon as I can!

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gettin BUGGY with it!

We've been studying bugs & insects on & off all summer just for fun! But last week we began full-time schoolin again so I continued our buggy adventures for Rylan & we focused on the letter B.


We checked out some bug themed alphabet toys at the Resource Center & all the boys enjoyed them! Rylan sorted the B & b, matched bugs to the right letter on flower mats, did an ant themed puzzle matching the capital letters to their lower case buddies, & the boys played a fun board game called AlphaBUG Soup together. I altered the directions to fit each of their needs, Rylan: recognizing letters, Brady: phonics & spelling. Rylan also practiced writing his Bs using a printable from Raising Rockstars Preschool from 1+1+1=1. We also used her printable for our weekly Bible verse: Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be call sons of God. Matthew 5:9. I am pleased to announce that Rylan really learned this verse! All week long he & Brady talked about being peacemakers & one day when we left for the grocery store Rylan called back to our pets & said, "Be peacemakers Fred & Carlos! Behave!" I was tickled!


The Resource Center has all sorts a fun items to help the boys explore bugs. We really like the theme kits from Lakeshore! 
 The boys used their talking microscope they got for Christmas to look at all sorts of bug slides & learn a lot of facts about each one. This may go down as one of the best gifts they've ever received! Thanks Uncle Jon Jon & Aunt BeBe!!

The boys were ECSTATIC to get their caterpillars in from Insect Lore! They observed them everyday & couldn't wait to watch their butterflies hatch. None of us really wanted to let them go, but eventually we did, but before we released them Brady insisted on praying for them :) We also went on a bug hunt in our yard & found a couple ladybugs, beetles, spiders, a HUMONGOUS wood roach (insert cringe!), & tons & tons of rolly pollies! They caught some to observe in their bug habitat they got from their Sonic Kid's Meals.



Here are a few pics of the boys playing with some more bug themed toys we were able to check out. The favorite was the magnetic bug thing Keller is playing with.


Brady tried to teach Rylan addition using a book we checked out. He didn't get it, but did enjoy counting all the bugs :) I printed out various math inspired printables from 2 Teaching Mommies' various bug themes. Rylan's favorite of course was using marshmallows to do the spider graphing book. Learning is always fun when you can eat it.

  He also had a good time putting together these cute lady bug counters. He had to match the colors & count the dots, then find the head with the correct number on it. After he did it by color he would mix up the body parts & just had fun playing around with them.


As you can see we were able to get lots of fun books! The littles had a lot fun playing with the felt board for Quick As A Cricket, & I used this book with Brady to review him on adjectives & verbs. The Happy Bee & Beetle Bop came with a CD to listen to the stories. I try to find a book each week that they can listen too.


The boys made caterpillars from egg cartons & dragonflies from coffee filters & clothes pins. I LOVE the picture of Rylan coloring his butterflies! Our kitten Carlos watched Rylan's hand going back & forth quickly & jumped up to catch it, but then seemed interested in just watching him color. I was glad I had my camera on hand!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Get Ready...

Well June is just about over which means we are getting ready to start schoolin again. I'm actually looking forward to it. Brady will be starting Adventures in My Father's World & I found a blog with a link-up full of other mommas who use My Father's would've thought I won the lottery!! :)

As for my 4 year old, Rylan, I've decided to use lots of goodies I've found from various blogs. I really love Raising Rock Stars Preschool, but Ry isn't quite ready for all of it so I'll just use bits & pieces for now along with some fun stuff from my other favorite sites.

Making Learning Fun

Tot School

Over the Big Moon Button png 1 Buttons
Confessions of a Homeschooler | free preschool printables


I'm still getting things organized & about to do a HUGE clean out of our school room to get everything ready. My goal is to start July 9. Now I just need to get set & GO!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Break For Me! Hallelujah!!!

 This sweet lil guy LOVES school! After 2 weeks of finishing 1st grade he begged & begged & begged to start up 2nd grade. I really did NOT want to, I needed a break! This past year was a whirlwind adventure in opening up about my past & the Lord opened many doors for me to travel & speak. As if being a full-time homeschooling momma didn't keep me busy enough, I was off doing events & press conferences a LOT! 
Now I completely loved every bit of it, even when it was hard, & depressing, because I know the Lord had me doing exactly what He had called me to do. But I'm tired. Worn out. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, & mentally exhausted! I had prayed & asked God to give me a break, some rest to regroup, refocus, & just be. Then my precious Brady comes begging & begging to do school again & I caved in. We started a little, but things kept coming up, knocking us off track & then he & his middle brother got very sick for almost 2 weeks. 

So in the midst of my tiredness & wanting a chance to relax I overloaded myself with more schoolin, not fully prepared & then stuck in the house with sick kiddos. I was at a breaking point. I cried out to God to show me what to do, where to go & He gave me peace, stillness, time to reflect. I asked Brady if we could please hold off on 2nd grade, Momma needed a break. And his reply?

"Sure. I just wanted to be in 2nd grade so I could be in class at church with my 2nd grade friends before they went to 3rd grade. But my teacher told me I couldn't change until August."

I died out laughing! So now, praise the Lord, I get a break! We are still practicing his math facts & reading of course & doing fun stuff with Rylan because I'm still doing preschool stuff with him. I must say I am so relieved! This summer we have a lot of fun stuff planned with VBS, play dates, & this will be Brady's 1st year to go to church camp! Lots of fun adventures await us.

I pray you all have a great summer as well!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fun @ the Children's Museum

Today we went to the Children's Museum with some friends & had a blast! I of course took a ton of pics, but I spared from looking at ALL of them & decided to just post a few from our day.

They all had a blast dancing & grooving in the music room!

 My kids love the Muppets & Rylan begged to have his picture taken with this pic! Creator Jim Henson is from Mississippi.

Brady's favorite part is the Digestive System! You enter through the mouth go down the esophagus to the stomach, run around all the intestines & slide into a toilet! How hilarious is that!? And to top it off it makes burping, gurgling, squishing, & pooting noises as they travel through!


And we ended our day with a yummy picnic!