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.

A Week in Review- October 29, 2010

This week has been great! Here is a recap of what we did.

Bible- We are continuing our journey through the book of Matthew. Zach's memory verse this week was Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." Next week we will memorize the second part of that verse. I have been using Jesus Calling as my own personal morning devotional for a while now and absolutely love it! I was so excited to see they had written a version for kids as well. We started using it this week. It is based on different scripture each day and is written as if Jesus is speaking to you. It has been the catalyst for very rich discussions about life, struggles, and obeying God. It is a perfect way to start our day.

HWT- We are continuing our cursive practice. Zach is doing very well.

G.U.M. Drops- Grammar is going well. Some days it makes my head spin but it is for the most part manageable.

Writing Strands- Our creative writing is still going well. I find that the deeper we get into the curriculum the harder it is for him to be totally independent. He loves for me to encourage his progress.

Spelling Power- I am really liking this curriculum. It has been somewhat of an adjustment for Zach to have a spelling test everyday but I think that is just because it is something so new to him. The way this program works is that we took a test at the beginning of the year to determine his placement. Now Monday-Thursday he tests everyday from predetermined lists. He has not seen the words before that day nor has he studied. We take the test and then only study the words he got wrong. We only spend a total of 5 minutes testing and then he has a specific process in which he studies the misspelled words. The next day we start the test with the words he misspelled the previous day and the continue down the list.
Math- We worked a lot on fractions this week. The math is not overly easy in my eyes but not particularly challenging for Zach so I may look the first part of the new year at either a different curriculum or the 5th grade program in our current curriculum. We will see what develops.

Geography- As you can see from the very first photo we started a new country this week. Canada! We stamped Zach's passport, looked up the current exchange rate, and changed our American $20 for Canadian money. Zach's been reading a lot of books on Canada. He did some map work labeling all the Canadian providences. Did you know that more dinosaur bones have been found in Alberta, Canada than any other place in the world? Canada also has more lakes than any other country. One in Manitoba is called Lake Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik. Crazy huh?

Science- This week for the most part we have been learning about food chains and talking about scavenger's and decomposer's. Zach drew a picture and described what a food chain is for his science notebook.

Zach has been reading this book to review for his journal. He seems to be enjoying it. Maybe I will have him post his review of the book here as well. The gist of the book is about Grace Cahill who was a rich, powerful, and mysterious woman. Right before her death she changes her will and that change starts a fast-paced exciting adventure. Grace's grandkids Amy and Dan are orphans, their parents died years ago in a fire. They gather, along with many crazy members of their extended family, for the reading of Grace's will. In her will, Grace selects only certain members of her family to either take a million dollars each, or exchange it for a chance to find the "39 clues", which will lead to a source of unimaginable power. Amy and Dan decide to take the challenge, along with some ruthless and crazy family members. This is a series with currently 10 books. Each book is written by a different author.

Other fun we had this week.....

Zachary is still enjoying his art class at Reach! He takes part in the class every Tuesday from 4-6pm. He is making a lot of neat pottery and I can't wait for everything to be fired so I can see the final products!

On Thursday we got together for a Halloween party with Zach's friends from his science co-op. There was tons of fun had by all!
There seemed to be a very distinct Star Wars theme going on! Zach is all the way to the right in the silver and blue.

On Friday, Zach got to dissect with his Vet Science class. They explored a cow heart, and sheep's lung. I was lucky enough to come home with a sheep's tongue, I say that with great sarcasm! It is currently in my freezer. I am not sure what in the world we are going to do with it but how could I say no to a boy that wants to observe? No way am I going to eat the thing!

Goodbye Botany...Hello.....?- October 22, 2010

We are just starting to wrap up our Botany unit with our science co-op. All the moms in the group and I met for dinner last week to discuss what direction we would like to head in after the holidays. This is the textbook we decided on:
images (3)
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day
by Apologia

Zach is very excited because it means he gets to study this:
His FAVORITE animal! We will also cover flying insects, birds, and the like. We brainstormed for a while different places we could visit and activities we could incorporate. I am sure without a doubt Zachary is going to LOVE this unit!

Hello....anyone out there?- October 22, 2010

I promise I didn't throw in the towel! I still am very much invested in writing this blog. Life just got busy. Jeremy took a vacation, well actually it was a stay-cation since we didn't go anywhere. I developed a rather nasty head cold that refuses to leave me alone no matter how much I beg and plead. We also took a break from school this past week so that we could enjoy some much needed family time with Jeremy. He has been working such crazy and long hours lately that we've missed him! We have enjoyed hiking through a nature center not too far from our home, as well as a couple movie nights. Jeremy and Zach even got to have a "guy day" visiting Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford near Detroit.

What had we been learning about before our impromptu break you ask? My last recap had us studying the USA. After ending that unit we learned all there is to know about Mexico, and desert biomes. On Monday, we will be leaving Mexico and heading to learn about Canada. Our science unit will be a little more general. We will be looking at food chains, and things of that nature.
Our other subjects have been going great as well. We adore our spelling and writing programs. We enjoy reading through our Hero Tales book in Bible and learning all about different Christian Heroes and the character traits they posses. Next week we will learn about William & Catherine Booth, who were the founders of the Salvation Army. Math and our cursive handwriting programs are all plugging along too.

Zach is greatly enjoying Gym & Swim at our area YMCA. His Vet Science program has been the most fantastic thus far. The opportunities he has had through this class are things he will remember for a lifetime! He is making a lot of new friends and also has kept a few close relationships from last year. He just recently earned his Webelos badge in Scouts and is taking great pride in that. Zach also got accepted into a art class for the next year. It is a free program but there were only a few places in the class. We turned in our application and waited. We were very excited to get the phone call that he was in. This is the same art studio that he participates in a day camp during the summer. The fall term is focusing on sculpting and pottery, which Zach has really been enjoying.

Jeremy and I had a conversation recently about how we both felt homeschooling was working for our family so far. I speak for the both of us when I say we are amazed at the changes we have seen in Zachary. He has completely come out of his shell. He is working better with others even when he doesn't get his way, he is less fearful of taking chances and risks, he wants to try new things, and he has more confidence in himself. I could go on and on. Zachary is a gifted child. The testing we had done last year regarding his intellectual ability has better equipped us in our first year of homeschooling. I truly believe since he has been given the ability to question things, search out his own answers, is being talked to like the intelligent kid he is, and being given the ability to determine some of what he chooses to learn has been a great catalyst for all these positive changes!
Enjoy below some great photographs from our time away from school.