Sunday, August 19, 2012

Homeschool Room Tour

Our school year has commenced!
  First day of school pictures....
I am sure you all want to book me as your wedding photographer...

The school bell actually rang here two weeks ago. We are starting week three of studies tomorrow!
Early? Yes, but we have a very good reason. You see, our Peach will be coming home mid-year and when Peach arrives, well, we will be wanting to take some time off!
So, anyhow, here we go...
The Annual Homeschool post
Do you like to snoop in tour other moms' homeschool areas?
I do! I actually love it. I love learning new organizational tricks and finding out what clever things other families are doing.
  A homeschool e-magazine that I read does regular videos tours of homeschool rooms. Micah makes a lot of fun of them, and a lot of fun of me when I watch them...BUT, even so, I had him record our own little tour today! You can watch it here:

Here is the second reason for my post: Sharing scheduling and curriculum tips.
Sidenote***Does your heart rate go up a little like mine does when you hear the word curriculum? I just get so excited!

Our school time this year is from 9-1:30ish.  Between 8-9 the kids do their chores, quiet Bible time, and eat breakfast.  I tell them, "The bus is here!" at 9 and we pretty much start no matter what.  I do give them some motivation to have everything done by 9, if you know what I mean...

I think one of the best things for simplifying our schoolday this year, has been our Independent Work Charts! Each child has a binder with a table in front that I put in weekly. I printed out 36 blank templates for each child at the beginning of the school year that I can fill out on Friday afternoon (or Sunday evening!) for the following week. In hindsight, I should have just done a semester's worth so I could make changes without a lot of waste.

This system is working so well for us because the kids know exactly what is expected from them for the entire week and it saves me a lot of explaining, which saves us all a lot of time! I can work with one of them while the other is busy doing their independent work. Do we still have to stop for questions? YES, but not nearly like it was last year.

Julianna is doing her reading independently this year as well, instead of reading to me. In order to be sure she is understanding the text, I put a comprehension quiz in her independent work. So she is able to do this on her own, I am pre-reading her assignments and creating a quiz in a flashcard app. on the ipad. She, of course, loves this treat of technology!
Flashcard App.

I am using Little Hearts for His Glory for my main curriculum with Josiah. I was going through this set with Julianna when he first came home two years ago, and I remember thinking that it could be a long time before he would be able to do this kind of work. Well, I have been super impressed so far this fall, he is showing himself to be very adept at this advanced kindergarten thing. I love the dedication and hard-work he puts into learning every day.
This comprehensive curriculum set uses a lot of Christian Liberty Press books-- I love how Christ centered it is. I am using Saxon K Math (given to me!) and Reading made Easy. I cannot say enough good things about this reading program, especially for my right brained child! I am certain I would be banging my head against the wall if I were trying a more conventional approach....I love this. I am finding it to work so well with his sensory processing challenges because it uses tools and cues to help him remember sounds and other phonics rules.
I am using Sonlight Core C with Julianna this year for Bible, History, Geography, Reading, and L. Arts. I love Sonlight and will continue to use it b/c of its global/missional prespective. PLUS, it includes great literature. Look at all the things we are reading this semester!...

I am using Harcourt Math...blah, nothing awesome here and BJU Science which is A LOT of AWESOME. Also, adding Shurley English for grammar, thanks to a friend's recommendation.

So there you have it, our homeschool plans for the semester. And now that I have started a trend, maybe you will share your homeschool with me????

Thursday, August 16, 2012

For our Prayer Partners...UPDATE

    We received an update yesterday consisting of a small collage of low resolution pictures (that we couldn't really see) and.....a WRITTEN report!
We have not had one of those since July 2011!
From the videos that we received January of this year, we shared with you the progress Peach showed; exceeding the doctor's predictions in every area-- except for speech. We heard giggles and some sounds come from her but no verbage.
This has been a specific point of prayer for us over the past months:  that she would begin to speak by our next report.

Here is the word we just received concerning this:

Speech: P* has begun to make great progress in her speech. She can say Mae ( Mother), Nan, Pa and K* (her foster brother).  She is beginning to name some animals and attempts to imitate sounds now. Her understanding of both Thai and English is good. P* can blow a whistle and bubbles, and is attempting to blow bubbles in water.

Woot! Thank you for praying with us. We are believing in miracles here!  God has put in my spirit to pray for her healing. I believe it is His will and I am praying for complete faith and courage to do what He has asked us to do!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


  You can imagine the problems that may come when, for months you have been loving, praying for, and dreaming about someone on the otherside of the world; and they, most likely have not been having the same thoughts and feelings about you.  They may have seen a picture, someone may have said this will be your, "Daddy and Mommy" but ultimately you are only a picture; a picture that they may or may not relate themselves to. You will be the ones that will take them away from the only world they have known.  Even if their world has been full of neglect and heartache, it is still all they may be able to comprehend. 
And so for months, sometimes years, adoptive families fantasize about the first meeting with their new child and how they will come give you a big hug and say, "Thank you! I have been waiting for you for so long!"  This may be the case for a handful of orphans who have an understanding of their situation and that there is something better for them; however, for most children, that first meeting feels less like Oliver the kitty being taken in by the sweet little girl and more like Nemo being scooped up by the dentist. 
We adoptive families have to prepare ourselves for that reality and keep the bigger picture in mind when our children are not immediately smitten by us.

We are fervently praying for God to prepare Peach's heart for a family and we are also trying to think of ways to stay connected with her in these next months to make the transition a little easier. 

A couple of weeks ago we read our dear Peach a book. She wasn't sitting in our laps nor was she sitting next to us in her bed "on the pillow side."  But we did put a lot of love into recording our voices for her to hear as she listens on the other side of the world!

 God, please put a fondness in her heart for her new family.  Help her to love us when she doesn't know us. Help her to feel safe and comfort when we meet.