Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Byzantine Empire

This year in History we are studying the Middle Ages.  We are currently looking at the Byzantine Empire.  Today we talked about Empress Theodora.  She married Justinian, the Just Emperor.  The girls enjoyed talking about her today, partly because when she was young she worked in the circus as a clown.  Here is a picture of my two "Empresses" in their crowns.

We just went to the circus this past Saturday.  The girls had a great time.  They got to see the animals up close before it started.  We like elephants!

Friday, August 10, 2007

One Week Down!

We just finished our first week of school for the year!  Yippeeee!!!!!!
I think we are really going to enjoy this year.  We are having so much fun already.  I am very impressed with RightStart Mathematics so far.  Lulu is enjoy math much more than she did last year.  There is a lot less writing.  Monkey is doing great with it too.  She is very mathematical minded.  She should only know how to enter up to 7 on her abacus.  The other day she was playing with it after her lesson and she moved the first row (which is 10) over and two over on the second row and said, "Look Mom, this would be 12."  She really picks up on numbers quickly.  (Which as a math lover myself makes me very happy)

Phonics lessons are moving along too.  Lulu is learning how to code words and recognize the number of syllables in each word.  She picked up reading so quickly and so well that we have not done a lot of actual phonics.  So I think this will be good for her and just increase her spelling abilities.
Lil has done.......somewhat okay!   Boy can she make things challenging at times.  Especially when she does not take her nap

Overall we have had a great week.  Wednesday was very nice for Mom.....because Daddy took the day off work and gave Mommy a day off of everything!  I left the house around 9:00am with no children in tow and did not return until almost 5:00pm.  WOW!  That has not happened in....almost 8 years.   It always amazes me though how I feel so awkward when I am by myself.  It is so rare that it almost cannot be a treat for me.  I just feel like I am forgetting someone.  Oh....and while I was gone Daddy did school with the girls.   That was a real treat for them!  I was kind of worried that he would outdo me though and that they would request him after that.   So far I've been safe.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Camping at Natural Bridge

We were able to go camping a few times in the spring and early summer.  Now it is too hot for me to tent camp  !    Our family really enjoys camping.  The girls sleep so well it amazes me.  I think they get so worn out for all the hiking and exploring that they do.  We went to Natural Bridge both Mother's Day and Father's Day weekends.  Here we are at the top of the bridge.  I still think it is awesome that my 7 and 5 year olds will hike as far as they do.  They even have their own camel they are carrying water, snacks, a notepad and colored pencils on their backs.  Go girls!!!

 Just ignore the sweaty mom in the photo!

My husband is the trooper though.  He leads us fearlessly up the trails all with Lil spilling water down his neck, reaching for leaves on trees and falling asleep only to become dead weight.

Our campsite that we get is right on the creek.  I think this is the highlight of the girls' weekend.

Now we just have to wait for fall.........

Homeschool Open House 2007

I found the Homeschool Open House on Tiany's blog.  So here's a little about me - I have been married for nine years to a great man.  We have three precious girls ages 7, 5, and 2.  This will be our 4th official year homeschooling.  It is such a blessing to know that my girls do not have to get up and leave early in the mornings.  Having them home is peace and, I believe, the way God intended it to be. 
A typical school day in our house is changing this year.  Last year Lil would sleep for 3-4 hours at a time.  We would do most if not all of our school work while she was asleep.  Now that she is 2 1/2, she sleeps a lot less.  She will be up for the bulk of school this year.  My plan is to get up between 6:30-7:00am to have my time with the Lord before the girls wake up.  I am going to get them an alarm and wake them up at 8am.  Then we can eat breakfast, get ready and do chores.  Bible time will be first with all three girls.  Then as I am doing math, phonics and language arts with Lulu, Monkey will be doing activity bags or something else to keep Lil occupied.  When Lulu is finished, Monkey will do her work while Lulu occupies Lil.  After lunch Lil will go down for her nap and the other two will do (one designated days, not all of these every day) history, science, art, music, unit studies, and whatever else comes up.
I previously posted about what curriculum we will be using this year.  You can look at it here
I do not schedule our day to the minute.  We have too much that changes around here.  But I am going to try to be more disciplined with our start time this year.  That is where the alarm comes in for the girls.  They are excited about having it too.  I think if they can get used to getting up, dressing, brushing teeth, etc. when the alarm goes off it will help with a lot of the slow-moving.  I am very flexible too if we do not get something done in the day that I intend for us to.  There is always another day....  Homeschooling provides us with so many freedoms.  I personally enjoy taking advantage of them.
We do the majority of our school work in our school room.   We have a small house and five people can really acquire a lot of junk  stuff.  Toward the end of last school year we decided to put all three girls in one bedroom and turn the smaller bedroom into our school room.  This has helped tremendously with the appearance of the rest of our house.  The girls also like that all of their materials are in one place and easy to get to.  We will read on the couch or on my bed.  But before they did their work at the kitchen table after we lugged books, notebooks, art supplies, pencils and all our other stuff to the kitchen.  Much better the new way!
I hope you have enjoyed a look at Potter's Hand Academy.  Make sure you visit the other blogs too.  So far the response has been great.