June In Review

by Dani

Wow, summer is flying by so quickly! We've been so busy and I've not even had the chance to blog about it!

After Memorial Day at Grandma's and the end of school (YAY!), we took one week off and just chilled around the house. But that didn't last long!

The second week of June was VBS #1 time. The boys went to one VBS where they had a blast and the older 2 girls when to another VBS. As a side note, the locations of these events were on opposite ends of town and, yes, started at the same time! That was a bit crazy, but we made it every morning! Anyway, the girls VBS wasn't really a VBS, it was more a musical intensive workshop. From 9 to 2 each day, they learned the songs, words, motions, and dances to a short musical. At the end of the week there was a 45 minute production for families to see what the kids had learned and done. Butterfly had a solo and was in a dance. Ladybug was also in a dance. Then Butterfly also played a sailor in the story of Jonah while Ladybug was one of the people mocking Noah. They both did a great job and, mostly, enjoyed it.

Here are a few pictures from the performance.

That week was also birthday week with both Butterfly and Cricket having birthdays. We had their big, joint, water birthday party that Saturday. So while all the kids were gone at VBS, I was busy making cakes. This year Cricket wanted Batman, and Butterfly wanted Ethiopian Girl. I had a lot of fun with these cakes once I figured out how I wanted to do Ethiopian Girl. I'm better at copying cakes then designing them all on my own, but since Butterfly was happy I guess I pulled it off!

After another week off to just chill, we had VBS round 2. This time at least all 4 older kids went to the same church. Having them all gone during this time was helpful because Dragonfly had some Doctor appointments and evals by OT and PT as well as visits from her Early Interventionist. We had some very positive news including that Dragonfly is now all caught up on her vaccinations (YAY!!), and she will be getting OT and PT twice a week. I plan to wrote more on her therapies in a later post.

We ended the month of June by spending a week with Mimmi on the farm. It wasn't our normal week visiting since Mimmi is having back issues and unable to run all over the place like we usually do. Still, the kids love spending time with Mimmi, and we were able to do a trip to Chuck E Cheese. Alas I didn't get any pictures!

It's THAT Time of Year...

by Dani

The time of year when my homeschool cabinet vomits all over the school table. In coming books stacked here. Out going books and papers over there. It looks something like this.

I do love it once everything is all neat and orderly again. :)

This coming year we will continue to use My Father's World as our main base curriculum. Ladybug with be doing  Learning God's Story (the 1st grade curriculum).

Butterfly and Cricket will be in Creation to The Greeks (CTG). These are the books we will be using for history and the read-a-louds. Butterfly will get an additional dose of history at our homeschool co-op where she will be taking a class on our state history.

For science this year we will use the MFW recommendation for CTG, Science in the Beginning. I plan to use it with all three older kids and not bother with the science included in the 1st grade kit. In addition, Cricket and Ladybug will be doing a nature study each week at co-op.

For art and music we will use the MFW recommendations for CTG. Plus Cricket and Ladybug will have an art class at co-op and Butterfly will take a music class.

For math we are going to shake things up a bit. Up to this year we have used the MFW recommendations of Singapore Math. While this "works" for Butterfly, she doesn't enjoy math and often takes a very long time to complete her lessons. And it just isn't working for Cricket. Math = tears and that must change. I was also interested in something that would free me up a bit as the teacher so this is what I have settled on as The Plan. We will continue to use Xtramath for our math drill and will use CTC Math, an online program, for everything else. I may also have Butterfly do a bit of work in the Singapore book I already have to see if I can get her ahead a bit.

In language arts we will also be deviating from the MFW recommendations a little bit. We will used English from the Roots Up for vocabulary. And Intermediate Language Lessons (Butterfly) or Language Lessons for Today (Cricket) for grammar. Cricket will learn cursive with Cursive Connections. But for spelling we will be going a different route for both kids. Cricket did so well with my switch to All About Spelling last year (went from getting 50% on spelling tests to 100%) that I have decided to switch Butterfly as well. I'll need to get her caught up to grade level so I plan to run her through Level 1 at light speed while using it as a review for Cricket since he completed just over half the book. By the end of the year I hope to have Cricket through levels 1 & 2 and Butterfly through level 3. I will also not be using the writing program recommended for Butterfly. Instead she will be taking an IEW writing class at co-op.

All in all I think this will be a fun year for us. Hopefully I will blog more about homeschooling this year then I was able to last year!

Meet Ethiopian Girl!!

by Dani

Move over Wonder Woman! There is a new super hero in town! Introducing Ethiopian Girl!

She's smart and strong and colorful!

Powers: Can produce fireballs and has a super sonic roar

Fighting Style: cat like in hand to hand combat

Have no fear, Ethiopian Girl is here!!