Monday, February 11, 2013

Blogger Annonymous and an Update



Hi, my name is Mariah and I haven't blogged since September.

{shame}

I do love blogging, I do.  I am hoping to get back to where I was, blogging weekly, but for now an update will have to do!

Last fall, we had some curriculum flops.  By curriculum flops I mean nearly every. single. thing we were trying this year seemed to just not work anymore.  It was ugly.  I felt horrible, how could I have made so many bad choices all in the same year?!  We got back on track, though, and we are anxiously awaiting the new curriculum we have very carefully picked out for next year.

I quit blogging in the midst of all that, and then never picked it back up again as we were completely focused on operation baby #3.  Pregnancy isn't something that comes naturally for us, so there are lots of Dr. appts, medications, and mental roller coasters that have to be tackled before we even begin to conceive.  Truthfully, I didn't even want to go down this road again.  After finally having Little Man after five miscarriages, the thought of getting pregnant and staying that way just didn't appeal to me.  If there was a way to skip the pregnancy and still end up with our baby in my arms, then I'd be all ears! We prayed about it for a long time, and finally we both felt God's peace about trying again...doing things exactly the same way we did them to get Little Man.  We were very excited to be expecting the first month we tried, but after two ultrasounds revealing a beautiful little bean with a wonderfully strong heartbeat {I was convinced it was a girl}, I lost the pregnancy.  Throughout the whole ordeal, blogging wasn't something on the forefront of my mind...  While we are incredibly sad, it has opened our eyes to the fact that our two children are not a result of some fertility clinic's list of prescriptions....they are simply our miracles from God.  There is no earthly explanation as to why they survived and the others didn't.  While being sad, we are happy.  While feeling angry, we feel His peace.  While not understanding, we try to trust His will.  While crying, we feel blessed.  It is a whole lot of emotions that are just kinda all over the place!  We don't know if or when we'll try again, we don't know if God will lead us to adopt, we don't know what the future holds.  Right now, it has been good to just cry, be still, and heal...

As far as homeschooling goes, we still LOVE it!  Even with all the curriculum changes and ugly life moments, we have been enjoying our learning.  It isn't as fancy and over the top as last year was, but it is REAL.  It has fit with the ups and downs of our last several months nicely. 

Here's an update into what it is we have been learning!
{this may be a bit long...}

Mini-Me

In attempts to loosen up and not be so schedule oriented, we now start our school day upstairs on the sofa! I know, who would have ever thought of it!  : )


We start our day with our devotional, Jesus Calling.  We LOVE this book!  I read it out loud {hoping Little Man is picking up on some things as he's playing with cars and hanging upside down on the sofa}, and Mini-Me takes little notes in her notebook, draws a picture, whatever comes to her about the message of the day.  We have great discussions over the lesson, and it is a great start to our day!

 
Then we do science upstairs too!  This was a subject that we struggled to complete in the afternoon, even though we loved it!  I decided to add it to our upstairs part of our day, and it has been effortless to breeze through in the mornings!  We are on the Artiodactyia lesson in Apologia Zoology 3, soaking up all kinds of information about stomach chambers and cud!  Mini-Me's favorite part at the end of each lesson is putting the animal stickers on our map!  Many areas are getting quite full!
 
 
After listening to our Latin vocabulary, we head downstairs to finish our school day!

For Bible, Mini-Me is working her way through Draw to Learn: Life of Jesus.  If I could approach every subject as an artist would, Mini-Me would be on top of the world!  Here is some of her work:



Grammar is still the same, we really enjoy Easy Grammar and Daily Grams.  Mini-Me is almost done with the Easy Grammar book for the year, and I would really like to put together a grammar lapbook of sorts and read this grammar book if I'm ambitious enough!


We weren't going to do a specific writing curriculum until next year, but we stumbled across Nanowrimo and decided to give it a whirl.  We didn't try to get it completed in one month, like they suggest, but she has slowly worked her way through the workbook, written her story, and we are in the process of transferring her story to the computer.  It has turned out to be a lot of work on my part, so we are a bit behind, but it will get finished soon enough.  Here is a picture of her plot roller coaster!  The story is about a talking horse and a girl who go on an adventure to get to and win a horse race!  It is quite interesting, action packed, and hopefully will have a good message when it is all finished!


We picked up cursive again.  Some weeks she takes her time, other weeks it is 'need a big eraser' kind of week.  She always wants me to circle the best one for each word. {sorry, not sure why my pictures are so blurry!}


For spelling, I'm using an online list for 4th grade {3rd grade seemed a bit too easy}.  On Monday, we do a pretest, Tuesday she does some word work, Wednesday I dictate sentences to her with the spelling words in them, and Thursday is the spelling test.  She does pretty good with this.  If she spells words wrong in her notes in other subjects, I'll add them to the list for the week.  Nothing fancy, but it is getting the job done this year.


We went back to Saxon, had I shared that yet?  I can't remember.  Singapore math was ok, Mini-Me did good with it, but come review time it was big crocodile tears as she couldn't remember how to do the things she learned 2 months ago.  It wasn't a good fit for her.  So, I put my tail between my legs and went back to Saxon.  I still don't like it, but Mini-Me thrives with it.  I suppose I can take one for the team! ; )


Books, books, books, and more books!  We have really been enjoying our reading this year. After we read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we went with the homeschool group to see the play!  Then we read The Horse and His Boy, completed the lapbook, and Mini-Me just finished reading Prince Caspian.  We have three more books to go to finish our literature study for the year.


On top of that, we have joined a girls book club!  A few other Moms and I put our heads together and started a book club for the homeschool girls ages 7-11!  It has been a blast!  Our first book was Mary Poppins, and that was a hoot! {although I'll warn you, Mary Poppins is NOTHING like the movie...she is mean in the book!  Mini-Me and I had trouble getting over the lack of a cheery disposition!}  We got together to discuss the book, had some Mary Poppins inspired treats, and made a carousel craft!


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This was my contribution to the evening...Mary Poppins paper dolls cut from the cricut and a sidewalk chalk silhouette...I sometimes can't control the overachiever in me...

Our next book was Pollyanna.  We made 'glad jars' for that craft, discussed the book, snacked on yummy Pollyanna inspired food, and made some blankets!  We contacted a place who takes care of babies who are born in prison while their Mom's finish out their time there, and they were very shocked to hear a group of 15 girls would want to volunteer and/or do something for them!  They suggested we could all make blankets, as that is what they send with each baby when they are reunited with their Moms.  We had some representatives come and talk to the girls at the meeting, and they handed out prayer cards for the little babies!  We are eagerly awaiting the day we get to take the blankets to them! 


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Our Pollyanna craft, the Glad Jar!

Our next book is Because of Winn Dixie!  This has been a really great activity for the girls, and us Moms don't have a bad time either!  : ) 

Mini-Me is also working on her geography, using her Top Secret Adventures she gets from her grandparents.  We had completely stopped Latin for a while, due to life, but we are slowly starting to add that back in.  To my surprise, not much has escaped Mini-Me over the last couple of months! 

Little Man

This little boy is a handful!  He was not interested in my Little Hands to Heaven, and I did spend a few weeks trying to FORCE this 3 year old to do school.  I finally just put it all away and let him play while we did school.  It wasn't long before he started asking to do school again, and I was really stressing out over what to do for him!  We stumbled across Easy Peasy - All in One Homeschool and it has been wonderful!  Not a lot each day, on the computer {his favorite thing in the world}, and he is actually learning quite a bit while having fun!  The best part is that it is free! {the site has free curriculum all the way up through high school!  I've spent some time looking over the older grades, and it is really good stuff!}  Here are some snapshots of his learning!

All his cars must do school with him...here they are watching a video of the abc song.
Each letter has a story to go with it.  This particular week it was Caleb the Cat coughing up the hair ball saying 'c,c,c'
Tracing, coloring, cutting, gluing..
This isn't part of the Easy Peasy things, but I insist he will do these.  My life as a Mom just won't be complete unless I have a cute A-Z notebook full of craft foam animals! {wink}
We really enjoy using Starfall!  This is his favorite part!  He can use the touch pad better than I can!
 

Here is a sample of the things he did for D week.  See the cute foam dinosaur?!  ; )  I really like how the Easy Peasy pulls from different programs around the internet.  We used the letter search from Confessions of a Homeschooler's blog and the bible verse from 1+1+1=1.  I sometimes feel overwhelmed because there are so many options online for young kids, it is hard to decide which to do!  Over the last 5 weeks I have used a little bit of it all and that makes me feel like I'm getting the best of all the different options! 


My favorite part has been starting to hide God's word in Little Man's heart!  In January, when we started this, I figured I would just read this book to him each week and that would be it.  I was very surprised to catch him repeating the verses throughout the day!  I try to break it down for him so he understands it.  For example, when he learned Proverbs 15:1, I told him wrath meant anger, being mad.  He now walks around saying, "A soft answer turns away 'wath' and 'wath' means anger, being mad. 'Proberbs' 15:1"  It is cute.  We are working on our 6th bible verse, reviewing others we have learned each day as well.  Just last year at this time I was panicked because he wasn't talking, and now look at him! 

That wraps up our big update!

We are still plugging along!  I am hoping to get back into the habit of sharing more of our homeschool without 6 month gaps between my posts!
; )




4 comments:

  1. This was a great post. I had a lot of fails this 2nd year, as well. I enjoyed seeing the ideas for the book club since my daughter also participates in one and I need an idea for April. :) Lastly, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.

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    1. Thanks Rikki! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had some flops this year! I've heard that the 3rd year is the year where everything falls into place, so I'm hoping that is true in our case as well! Glad I could inspire some book club ideas! ;)

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  2. Hi Mariah,
    I am so happy to see you posting, but at the same time my heart is so heavy for your loss and heartache. I know some of that similar and pray that you will find a peace that passes our earthly understanding.

    Oddly enough, we have been making some curriculum changes, too. I really thought we were fully set this year, but we've had my husband ill, was in the hospital, and then out of work for over 2 months. Life has a way of sending trials to teach us greater lessons.

    I've really missed your inspiring posts and it was so nice to catch up.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

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  3. Ugh .. my heart aches for you! I had been worried about you as we're doing Adventures this year and I check your blog every week b/c I love seeing what you did when you were doing Adventures! We are also making changes after almost completing our first year of homeschooling .. trying Winter's Promise for history rather than MFW, moved to Saxon for my 8 yr old dd (who loves it like your daughter..although not my first choice) and picking up BJU's bible .. love that we have so many choices! Love reading your blog, you're so great at it, looking forward to future entries :)

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