Back to Homeschool Week – Day 2

back to homeschoolย week

How do we homeschool?

Such a loaded question that is…basically we homeschool like I cook – a little of this and a little of that. ๐Ÿ™‚ For the most part, we are following the broad outlinesof the classical model of homeschooling but willing to veer off course and hop down rabbit trails if our hearts desire.

I am the type of gal that needs some sort of structure or I will hop down too many trails so for scheduling we use Homeschool Tracker. I do use the Plus program but there are few software programs that you can purchase for $39 with free upgrades and able to be used on more than 1 computer in your home. I find it a great help and being that my state requires a review, the reporting feature allow me with a few clicks of the mouse to have a summary of everything. Of course, first the information has to get into the program which is what I spent a large chunk of today doing hence my late posting. ๐Ÿ™‚

Like I mentioned in the beginning, we are following the broad parameters of the classical method as outlined in the Well-Trained Mind (see sidebar). This year, I am going to do an overview of all 4 periods as exposure before delving deeper next year in the ancients. For this overview, I am developing my own unit studies that will cover history and science and I hope to share here in the near future.

For Math, we use Math-U-See. I absolutely love this program and so do my kids. A will be finishing up the Primer and starting Alpha come mid-September. We have both sets of blocks and they are in a fishing tackle box and they work well for my visual daughter and my tactile son. ๐Ÿ™‚

For Language Arts-Reading, I use the Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. I did purchase the combo pack and the kids love the magnetic board and will often just want to sit and make words with it without any prodding by me, which is just wonderful. Another item that I use to supplement is the Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists. I picked this up at Barnes & Noble with my teacher’s discount and it is a must for every bookshelf. Being that my daughter is very image driven, I find that books without images or few images work best and unfortunately many of the learn-to-read books have a lot of images. I downloaded the FREE McGuffey Eclectic Primer from Project Guttenberg. They work lovely and they are great for copywork as well. For her afternoon reading, I use some Dr. Seuss and early reader books because it is fun to read with your mom on the couch.

My son, while 3 1/2, is involved in some aspects of our daily learning but there are times when he must go have some structured play so I use ziploc bags and fill them with different things for him to do like mazes, coloring sheets, scissor activities, etc. He likes this plus it helps his skill development.

I do use some DVD/VHS tapes like Magic School Bus for further understanding and to this day, a how our food grows video has been their favorite and they know all about farm equipment. These tools have their place but they are not the bulk of our learning as they pretty much only get 1/2 hour of tv/video a day.

I use the library as much as possible to fill in other items and I find that thrift stores are often a treasure trove for books that can be used in a homeschool environment. We do field trips especially to the Smithsonians and I love the fact that they are free. ๐Ÿ™‚

This year we are looking at a co-op for Fridays just because we are in the process of a church plant and our old church had a lot of activities for the kids and A is very social. I have not done our schedule justice but check out the archives for some other items and thoughts and check back in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

Time Travel Tuesday – Giving Birth

Timeย travelers

I wasn’t going to participate in Time Travel Tuesday sponsored by the lovely Annie, but the Lord convicted me about sharing what I have been through not as discouragement but as encouragement. So, if you came looking for the happy birth stories, then let me say thanks for coming and you may feel free to leave now and no my feelings aren’t hurt.

Oh, your still you want to hear more, okay, grab a cup of something good and get comfy.

My hubby and I had been married for almost 5 months when we found out that I was pregnant and you may recall that we married within 6 months of meeting one another so that is 10-11 months into a new marriage, relationship and friendship. We were really still trying to understand each other, our marriage, and now a pregnancy. We were excited about being pregnant but my hubby didn’t want to tell anyone yet as is brother had done this and his SIL had a miscarriage and suppossedly this was hard on the family. This happenned shortly before I married into the family.

We had to travel to my in-laws for the Thanksgiving holiday and mind you, I really didn’t want to go as I had the worst morning sickness in that it lasted all day. We journeyed with the necessary stops for heaving and while there I started spotting so a call to my doctor’s revealed that I needed to be on bed rest. How is one on bed rest at their in-laws that they have known for less than 7 months during the Thanksgiving holiday when noone knows that she is pregnant?? I love my hubby dearly but he knows he wasn’t the best example of Jesus with skin on for his wife at that time and he hadn’t fully embraced Genesis in terms of leaving and cleaving. I made it through the ordeal and returned home after having been sick the entire trip for my doctors to order me to the ER as I had to be dehydrated being that I couldn’t keep anything down. I don’t remember much except for being sick on the nurse and then I woke up to hear my hubby on the phone with one of his brothers sharing the news that we were pregnant.

I was sick for 5 months and this was torture on me, us, my job (my boss was an atheist that didn’t like kids (readily admitted to adopting his due to pressure from his wife) and everyone else was childless in the office). ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I was pretty miserable but that was when God saw fit to allow me to overcome my morning sickness and things really turned a corner for me healthwise. Unfortunately, my job was a different matter as they were really out to kill, steal and destroy and after much prayer, the Lord had softened my hubby’s heart that we agreed I would stay home for the first 6 months, so with that I left my job in May and our daughter A was born in July. Being our first, we didn’t know what she was until she was born and we were tickled pink even though her room was yellow and green. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have already detailed her health issues and the like during her recent birthday post. Needless to say, I have been home ever since, so that is 5 years now…God is so good!!!! My hubby actually now encourages others to work it out so their wives can be home…hee hee.

Our son Z was conceived while in the hospital during A’s transplant. God has a sense of humor especially since she was released on 14 meds that were pretty much around the clock and the still had a PICC line in her arm. Z was an easy breezy pregnancy and hubby notified everyone including my own parents before I could…go figure. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was sick maybe 3 times and they were all in the hospital and from then on, I was fine. He loved chocolate brownies or at least that is what I thought… ๐Ÿ˜€ He still is easy breezy and he came out healthy and happy. He is a lovable 3 1/2 year old that is full of boy energy and he loves God/Jesus and he prays for them every day as well as dinosaurs, trucks, Jeff Gordon, and the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, we have heavily influenced his thought life and rightly so. For the record, he also likes trains, Dale Jr., Tony Stewart, and being in the DC area, he recognizes the other NFC team.

Now, pregnancy #3 has a much different ending. Malachi was born at 29 weeks due to an emergency c-section because of a myriad of complications from his health issues. He was diagnosed with thanatophoric dysplasia which is a deadly form of dwarfism and he had hydrocephalus. My doctors decided it was best for me to have the emergency c-section as I was growing too fast (4 inches in 1 week) and the condition was one in which the survival rate is 0 so the hospital provides comfort measures and that is all. It is an odd feeling to go in to have a baby that you know is not going to live long but God was faithful through it all. Malachi’s head was larger than they had thought and being that it was so early, he wasn’t head down so it took my doctor and a male doctor to pull and push him out of my body. He lived for an hour which was long enough for them to put me back together again and tie my tubes as my uterine window almost burst and another pregnancy would have had me at too high a risk for death. He passed in my arms and I think about him every day.

People often ask how many children I have and I say 2 and my sweet A corrects me and says 3, 2 here and 1 in heaven.

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