Celebrate the Everyday


Why Celebrate the Everyday? I always start my day by repeating to myself Psalm 118:24- "This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it." It's a reminder that even in the midst of the mundane and on the hardest of days, there is always something to celebrate, always something to be grateful for! Join me as I document our family's journey of homeschooling our son.

The Week in Review- September 24, 2010

This week was a busy one! This was our first week including all of our outside commitments in with homeschooling. One thing is for sure, I sleep well each night! Above is a picture of Zach doing his schoolwork in his pj's. He thinks this is a pretty cool perk! Don't worry he does get dressed each day, I promise.
On Tuesdays I take Madison to preschool in the morning. Zach and I usually come home and get a good portion of his schooling done before we need to pick her up. To switch things up a bit and to show my appreciation for the hard work Zach has displayed the past couple of weeks we packed up the majority of our studies and headed to our nearest Panera Bread. We got a lot of schoolwork done there while we waited to pick up Madison. The change of venue was fun and the free pastry and coffee I had earned on my rewards card was a great incentive. : )
On Wednesday, we headed to our second YMCA Gym & Swim class. Again Zach did very well in his swimming lessons. Our area Y has a giant tube-like slide in one of the pools. During their free time at the end of swimming lessons, all the kids ran for the slide. Zachary LOVED it! During gym time all the kids played soccer. I definitely have one tired kid at the end! Sorry the YMCA pictures are so blurry....I have a horrible time taking good pictures in that building.
On Thursday we had a a field trip with our Botany class to the home & farm of a bee keeper. I will write more about that in a different post since I have a ton of great pictures.
Friday Zachary had his second Vet Science class. They did some work dissecting owl pellets and also had a visit from a rather large poodle. Using the poodle for an example they learned how to treat and cast an animal with a broken leg. He is loving this class and jumps out of bed each Friday morning looking forward to it.

Here's what we have been working on this past week in our studies.

Bible- We are really starting to dive into our curriculum. We are going to be spending the majority of the year studying the book of Matthew. Zach learned that Matthew is the first book in the New Testament and the start of the gospels. Matthew was a tax collector and left his job to become one of Jesus' 12 disciples. The book of Matthew tells the story of Jesus' birth, boyhood, teaching, healing, crucification, resurrection. We also started reading through a book called Hero Tales. This book is an autobiography about different Christian heroes. This week we read about Dwight Moody. Mr. Moody was one of the founding members of the YMCA and the founder of the Illinois Street Church in Chicago, IL. With each story we read, there is a character trait attached. This week was boldness, repentance, & strength.

Handwriting Without Tears- Continuing with cursive practice.

Spelling Power- We just began this program. We worked this week on a couple different tests to get Zach placed and to know which spelling lists to start him on.

G.U.M. Drops- We have been working on plural nouns, and abbreviations. The end of the week was spent proof reading and correcting a passage from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Math- Zach worked on fractions, and more on double digit multiplication.

Geography- We have started the study of our first country... the United States. We took a look at the different states. Zachary is studying and working to be able to identify them all.
Science- We have been learning about different environments, climates, with a special emphasis on deciduous forests. A good portion of the United States has deciduous forests. I love how our Geography and Science go hand in hand. The above picture is a map Zach worked on this week.

Writing Strands- We have continued to develop the core sentences and have used that information to start work on paragraphs. I cannot believe how far his writing has come.

That was our week in a nutshell. I'm looking forward to slowing down a bit this weekend and then running headfirst into next week.

SHE blogs

I'm blogging here today. SHE blogs is a Women's Ministry blog for Trinity Church, which is where we attend. Please stop by, leave a comment, and laugh along with me at Zach's funny breakfast announcement.

The Week in Review- September 17, 2010


Sorry for the picture quality, I took these with my cell phone. : )

This week marked week two in our journey. We kicked off the majority of our extra-curricular activities. It was busy but I enjoyed it. I've found that I really enjoy teaching and having full, busy days. Not chaotic, stressful days but just comfortably busy. The most surprising thing we have found is how at peace we are and how much homeschooling just fits into our life. I honestly think it is because we are honoring God. We are walking the path he has chosen for us. Don't get me wrong it's not sunshine and rainbows all the time. Thursday, for example was a tough day. Zach just WAS NOT focused and motivated. However, I stood my ground and we got through it.

I know that I have said it before but I LOVE our writing program. Writing is something Zach does NOT enjoy. I think mostly because his brain is SO full of SO many wonderful things that the task of picking ONE thing to write about it so overwhelming for him. The curriculum breaks the creative writing process down into manageable pieces with tons of fun and humor. Wednesday's lesson focused on including numerous pieces of information in one sentence. They gave a core sentence
The boy found the dog. There were then 5 questions to answer to help add additional information to the core sentence.
The questions were:
1. How old was the boy?
2. What color was the dog?
3. What kind of dog did the boy find?
4. What did the boy use to tie the dog?
5. Where was the boy when he found the dog?

This was Zachary's final sentence:
The boy was 10 years old when he found the black Beagle in Papua New Guinea and used an old vine as a leash.

He was so excited when he finished this sentence. It made it easy for him, not stressful! By answering the questions he was able to focus this thoughts!

Wednesday was our first YMCA Gym & Swim class. Although Zachary loves the water, he has never taken any formal lessons. The first hour of this two hour class is devoted completely to swimming instruction. At the top of this post is a picture of Zachary working on his skills. I promise there are more kids in the class but I am careful to not photograph them for my blog since I don't have permission from their parents. After swimming Zachary changed into his gym clothes and got to roller skate for an hour. This was great practice as Zachary is not fully confident on skates. He had a blast! After the Y we raced home and had a quick dinner. I headed to church to volunteer for an event and Zach headed with his Botany friends to a soccer clinic taught by one of the Botany Dad's. Needless to say I had one exhausted kid by the end of the day! Below is a picture of Zach skating!

Friday marked the start of our enrichment day. Every Friday morning from 9am-12:30pm we get together with 30 other families in one location. There are many different classes offered depending on age group. We are very excited as Zachary was able to move up to the 5th-7th grade group and join a Veterinary Science class. He is in this class for 2 hours and then has gym for 30 minutes. Zach's dream is to grow up and be a Veterinarian so he is completely focused! He received his animal first aid kit this morning and he is guarding it with his life. Next week, I hear, stethoscopes and lab coats are on the agenda. The lead teacher is a licensed and practicing Vet which is a tremendous blessing. The group also talked about what they would like to accomplish this semester. It was decided that they would like to dissect a sheep's lung, and a cow heart, among other things. Zachary can hardly wait! Thankfully I am not assigned to that class because I think I would pass out! They also have some field trips planned to Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

That's been our week in a nutshell. I'm just finishing up my lesson plans for next week and I am excited. We really start to dive into to our studies of the world! First up is the United States. We also have a fun field trip with our Botany group to a Bee farm to harvest honey. Stay tuned!

Making a difference in the life of a child- September 1, 2010

I love this picture. I am so proud of my husband for leading these boys!