Monthly Archives: October 2012

Teaching Compassion

I wanted to share a little bit about our most recent thrilling undertaking, sponsoring two little children through Compassion International. I post this not to draw attention to us or make much of what we’re doing, but instead to make much of what God is doing through this awesome ministry and to encourage anyone who’s ever considered it to go ahead and do it! I didn’t know much about it when I first looked into it, but my eyes were really opened to the fact that there are so many children in the world who are in need and we are so very blessed and able to help and make a difference in their lives. Initially, my plan was to sponsor one child. I had made a few changes to the budget to accommodate the extra cost each month for one. But it’s interesting how God can speak so clearly to you that you just can’t ignore it. As the kids and I were looking through the children available for sponsorship on their website, I knew God was asking me to sponsor two kids, one for each of my children to pray for, write to, and hopefully develop a relationship with. So that’s what we did! We picked a boy from Honduras that’s Elliot’s age and a little girl from Peru that’s Caroline’s age. We are so excited! Not only are we helping sweet children who need it so badly, but it gives me an opportunity to teach my kids to be compassionate and care for those that are in need. Telling my kids they should care about others is easy, but actually living it and actively involving them in the process is what is going to make the impact on them.

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Week 12

Memory Verse: Finally, Brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. – Philippians 4:8

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold

Pre-K Literature: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

Read Aloud: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

Photos From the Last Few Weeks:

Her Very Wonderful Aunts

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He was working on a a list of his favorite homophones.
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We recently tried out a homeschool gym class that is right down the road from us.
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They loved it and can’t wait to go back!
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Introduction to Rembrandt
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Beethoven

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London and Paris Trip

As I’ve stated many times before, one of the marvelous things about homeschooling is the flexibility and freedom it provides. I am a very schedule-oriented person, however, and don’t often take advantage of that flexibility. I was very thankful for it a few weeks ago though when Josh announced he would be going to London for work and that he would love to take me along with him. After initially thinking we couldn’t possibly do that, it occurred to me that there’s no reason why we couldn’t. The kids could easily go and stay with their grandparents in Houston and enjoy their time there without the burden of needing to do school because I’ve scheduled in frequent weekly breaks throughout our year that I could easily use to make up for any lost time. It’s just so great to not have our plans dictated by a school district’s calendar. The kids had a blast on their impromptu week-off and we were able to take advantage of a great opportunity to share an amazing experience together.

Josh departed for London three days before me, so I made the trip there on my own. After not sleeping much at all on the long flight (and losing 6 hours because of the time difference), I made my way to the train that would take me to where I needed to go. Exhausted, I arrived at the busy station where Josh was waiting for me. We were talking on our phones and trying to locate each other and having somewhat of a hard time communicating where we both were. I was so tired and I just wanted to find a bed and sleep! Then in the distance through the crowds of people, I saw his sweet smile and a burst of energy bolted through me and I couldn’t help giggling to myself as we approached each other. It was so wonderful to finally be with him and I was so excited about the adventure we were about to share together. We had four days in London and then took the Eurostar to Paris and spent three days there. We saw so many things, learned so much history, experienced a different culture, enjoyed wonderful food and just soaked up the time together. It was wonderful!

London

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Paris

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Week 10

We had another great week last week and also have some exciting news! Josh and I will be traveling to London and Paris soon. An opportunity emerged that we couldn’t pass up. Though they are a little sad they aren’t coming along, the kids are excited for us and Elliot is especially thrilled that we can take lots of pictures for him to see. France and England have both been places he and I have studied together in the past so he’s pretty familiar with them. Caroline is aware of the existence of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and she also knows her aunt, uncle, and cousins lived in France for a while to learn French before heading to Africa (French-speaking country) to serve as missionaries. We’re hoping someday we can take the kids to Europe so they can see it all for themselves.

Here’s what’s going on this coming week:

Memory Verse: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:6-7

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Artist: Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Composer: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Five in a Row: Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan (learning about homophones)

Pre-K Literature: Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood (learning about plants, roses, and focusing on aunts in our family study)

Read Aloud: The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Set in Paris!)

A Few Photos From Last Week:

When we placed our story disk for Truman’s Aunt Farm, we were supposed to choose a location where one of his aunts live since no setting is given in the story. Elliot has four wonderful aunts to choose from and decided to stick the disk on Boston, where his Aunt Buzzy lives.

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Caroline’s book also has an aunt theme. She practiced writing her aunts’ names.

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Practicing Number Order

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I just thought I would showcase Elliot’s beautiful cursive writing. I’ve been amazed by how quickly he’s picked it up after just nine weeks of instruction. He pretty much does all his work in cursive now and he loves practicing in his free time as well. This assignment was sentences I dictated and he wrote down that contained words with silent t’s, which he had practiced in his Explode the Code lesson./strong>

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After our last eight-week long read aloud, we decided to go with something short and simple last week. We read The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes and finished it by Wednesday. We really enjoyed this sweet story and we had a great discussion about the moral lesson it teaches.

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We learned lots of new words while reading The Hundred Dresses, disconsolate being one of them.

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We enjoyed another great nature walk last week. Our objective was to find and observe some ant hills since we are studying ants (in addition to aunts!) but we came across so many other interesting things as well. It seemed like new things were popping out in front of us at every turn. It just goes to show how much we probably miss when we aren’t actively looking for things to learn about in the world around us.

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We found a mushroom.

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Elliot drew a snail shell he found in his nature journal. Caroline drew the swings at the park. We’re still working on grasping the whole natural versus man-made concept. She said, “But they’re just so beautiful!”

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Grasshoppers were all over the place!

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We found this little lizard on the sidewalk. We weren’t exactly sure what kind it was (gecko?), but it sure appeared to be blending in with its surroundings (the sidewalk) so much so that we almost didn’t see it. Sadly, it was not alive.

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Week 9

I’d almost forgotten that I’d scheduled in a short break this week from a few things. A lot of our subjects fill in 32 weeks of our school year, leaving me with four random blank weeks so I inserted a break every eight weeks. It works out similarly with our other subjects where the curriculum provides anywhere from 28-32 weeks of lessons. I made a pretty detailed schedule of all these things before the beginning of the year. I prefer a random break week from a subject here and there over having 4-6 weeks at the end of the year when we have practically nothing to do.

Memory Verse: (one-week break)

Hymn: (one-week break)

Artist: (one-week break)

Composer: (one-week break)

Five in a Row: Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan (learning about homophones) (10/1-10/12)

Pre-K Literature: Aunt Mary’s Rose by Douglas Wood (learning about plants, roses, and focusing on aunts in our family study) (10/1-10/12)

Read Aloud: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

A Few Photos From Last Week

She’s a pattern whiz.

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When went on a nature walk to look for unique pebbles and brought along our nature journals in case we came across anything else interesting.

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Rocks!

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We found the roundest pebble we could so we could paint it red to replicate the pebble in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

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And of course she needed to paint a rock pink.

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This was our last picture study for Van Gogh.

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We enjoyed lunch outside on a beautiful day.

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I still can’t seem to get enough photos of these two in their backpacks for classes on Friday. They seem so grown up!

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We finished the week at a New York-Style Pizzeria as a fun ending to our current FIAR book, Little Nino’s Pizzeria.

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