Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Homeschool Week 25: Seeing The Light

It's the time of the year for me to start nailing down curriculum choices for the upcoming school year.  I have been researching and making notes since I ordered last year's curriculum but I find as the time is drawing closer I am second guessing some of those choices.  I have spent a lot of time lately rereading reviews and trying to make some definite decisions.  I will be choosing a new language arts curriculum for 2nd grade.  What I am using now (Sing Spell Read and Write) was just for K and 1st grade.  As for now I am leaning towards BJU Press for English 2.  I plan to try All About Spelling and A Reason for Handwriting.  I have definite plans to start Sonlight next year.  I will be ordering Core A and combining both boys together for history and literature.  I will be ordering Sonlight Grade 2 Readers for Cruz.  We will continue using Math U See.  I am pretty sure we will continue Abeka Bible although I am looking at other options just to make sure. We will continue Abeka Health also.   Science is still an uncertain.  Right now I am torn between Elemental Science and Sonlight Science.  Ben will begin Sing Spell Read and Write and Math U See Primer for kindergarten.  Making curriculum choices is really hard and stressful.  I want to love what I get and not have to make changes during the school year.  Would you pray wisdom for me as I make these decisions?

This past week in school was another fun one.  We are continuing through some New Testament stories in Bible.  Last week we covered the stories of Jesus Heals the Nobleman's Son, Jesus Goes to the Synagogue in Nazareth, and Blind Bartimaeus.  We learned a new song "I Am The Door".  Cruz is continuing to memorize Matthew 18: 1-6.  One of his Bible worksheets had him write and draw what he imagined Blind Bartimaeus may have seen after Jesus healed his eyes.  Cruz wrote the sky, the sun, a rainbow, and people.

Abeka Bible worksheet

In Language Cruz spent the week focusing on vocabulary words that contain the "sh" and "ch" sounds.  He has a daily spelling test and this week began having to write homework sentences with his daily spelling list.  His grammar lessons were reviewing suffixes and syllabication.  His reading has really picked up in the last few weeks.  It seems as though it has all started to click well for him.  His confidence level has also improved.  It makes me proud to see him excel at something that I have worked so hard to help him learn.  Teaching someone to read is not an easy job.  It requires a lot more patience than I ever thought I had.  But, it has probably been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.  I think I will always be proud that I taught him that skill. 

reading in Storybook #9

one of his workbook activities- adding er and est

reviewing suffixes

a few of his spelling word sentences

my little super heroes on a recent school day

Ben's language lessons focused on the letter O.  His memory verse for the week was Psalm 118:1     O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.  Below is a video of him saying it.

Letter O memory verse

practicing sight words

Last week Ben began learning a nursery rhyme a week.  He will have a new one each week until the end of the school year.  His first one was Hey Diddle Diddle.

In Math Ben continues to count from 0-60 and is focusing on numbers 0-16. 
counting noodles in math class

counting on the apple tree

Cruz's math lesson was Subtraction -8.  We also do a lot of reviewing of all the math facts he has learned so far.  

In History we learned about traveling the Oregon Trail.  The boys are really enjoying these pioneer stories.  This has been a really fun curriculum and a great pick for History this year.  They especially enjoyed the YouTube videos we watched showing what life was like for the children who traveled the Oregon Trail with their parents. 

Our activity for the week was making covered wagons.  We used milk cartons and construction paper.  The boys have had a great time playing with these and pretending to be pioneers.

We learned all about the State of Kansas.

In Science we began a unit on plants.  This weeks lesson taught us that plants grow towards the sun.  We watched a few time lapse videos to demonstrate this idea and skipped the experiment that would have had us doing it ourselves.  We learned about the parts of plants and that the roots grow down and the plant grows up.  We made a mosaic plant using tissue paper.  The boys cut the tissue paper into small squares and then rolled each square into a ball.  We then glued the balls onto our plant picture.  This was fun for them and their pictures turned out really pretty,

cutting tissue paper squares

making tissue paper balls

gluing to balls onto their picture

Cruz's mosaic plant

In Art they drew a baby raccoon-

Ben's raccoon makes me laugh every time I see it.  It looks a little scared, ha.

Cruz's journal entries for the week-

In Health we are continuing our unit on Safety.  This week we learned about being safe on the playground.  I have really enjoyed our Abeka Health lessons this year.

That's another week all wrapped up and done.  They are going by a little faster than I would prefer but on the other hand I am looking forward to the summer break.  It will be here before we know it!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

We did a Valentine's Day countdown all month so by the time the holiday rolled around the boys were jumping with excitement.  The biggest disappointment came when Cruz realized that in spite of it being a holiday I still had plans to have school.  He was so upset that he had to do school on a holiday even though I assured him that kids all over the world were doing school as well.  I still don't think he believes me but oh well, he survived.

David took the boys to town on Valentine's Day eve to pick out some things for me.  I love that he did that.  I think they enjoyed getting to shop for me.  They came home with flowers, a balloon, and a gift to open the next morning. 

the boys coming home from town with roses and a balloon

my pretty roses sitting on our dining room table

I cooked a big supper that night and had an early celebration

Our dessert was David's gift from me- a pecan pie.  You can see he didn't wait for it to cool before trying it. 

After putting the boys to bed I decorated their bedroom door.  That is something I do on most all holidays.

the boys on Valentine's Day morning

some of their gifts

We enjoyed heart shaped pancakes for breakfast.

I started a new tradition this year for our family.  I took the Valentine's Day card exchange idea and turned it into something fun for us to do.  A few days earlier I sat out a bunch of our craft supplies and gave instructions for each of us to make a card for all family members.  They all surprised me at how much they put in to it especially David.  His cards were great!  We hid our cards from each other until Valentine's Day morning and exchanged them after breakfast.  The boys drove me crazy talking about their anticipation to give out their cards.  They were so hyped up about it!

making Valentine's cards for each other

our homemade family Valentine's Day cards

After breakfast we passed out our cards and then went around the table and one by one told the others something that we love about them.  I understand that it sounds like a corny idea but it was really a precious time.  Hearing such thoughtful things said to you from your family was so sweet.  I look forward to doing this again in the years to come. 

Me with my cards and gifts on Valentine's morning.  My guys made me feel very loved.

our family photo
 (a holiday tradition)

After school we drove into town to eat lunch at one of my favorite local spots- Vintage Cafe'. 

the boys enjoying bean tostadas for lunch on Valentine's Day

They spent the afternoon enjoying a playdate with a neighbor friend. 

That night we enjoyed pizza and chocolate cupcakes for supper.

We ended the day by watching our Charlie Brown Valentine's Day movie.  It is a tradition for us.

It was a simple day but a fun one.  I enjoyed celebrating with my little family and making new memories with them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This and That

Here is a little of life around here lately-

It's warm around here and the boys have been asking to swim. We recently blew up their inflatable pool and let them spend some time cooling off in it.  The heat gets old at times but we do love living in a year round warm climate. 

swimming on a recent afternoon

We enjoyed getting to watch the Super Bowl.  We try to watch it every year.  My boys might not grow up knowing much about football but I want them to know that it is a big part of American culture. 

As part of our Super Bowl celebration I try to make this football cake every year.  It just adds a little fun to our night.

We had some missionary friends come over and watch the game with us.  We enjoyed pizza and popcorn while watching the game outside in our backyard.  We set up the projector and watched it under the stars.  I love doing that!

our Super Bowl party

Most all of last week Cruz was sick.   He had fever and flu like symptoms similar to what Ben had a few weeks ago.  He seems to be doing better now but it is my turn.  I have felt terrible lately but like all moms you just keep on going, right?

We didn't get to teach our normal Thursday afternoon Bible study last week.  There were some protests taking place and the locals had all the major roads shut down. It had something to do with the cattle farmers not wanting their taxes increased.  

On Friday after school we drove to the town of Istanzuela to renew my Guatemalan driver's license.   It had been five years since my last one and it was going to expire later this month.   You start the process with an eye exam and then herd around through about five different counters getting stamps and signatures, pay your money, take a photo, and your done.  Thankfully it was not very busy that afternoon so the process was fairly quick.  My camera battery died so the next few photos were taken with my phone and are not very good quality.  

my new Guatemala driver's license

They only let the ones that are applying enter the building.  That meant David and the boys had to hang out elsewhere while I was inside.  When I came out I found them at a local ice cream shop enjoying an afternoon treat. 

That night when we got back into Chiquimula we met some friends at a local town park to let the kids play.  We all took bicycles so they could ride.  They had a lot of fun!  A church was having an evangelistic service in the park that night and had plans to show a movie.  While playing and visiting we enjoyed listening to their praise music and later on watching the movie on one of the screens they had set up.  It was a movie based on the story of the prodigal son.  

the kids watching a movie in the park

the boys on Saturday morning ready for a fun morning in town

we took them to the local theater to see Batman

On a side note- we are still learning tips on taking children to the theater. Passing a big bucket of popcorn back and forth is not easy with little ones.  One thing I have learned to do is take ziplock bags for the popcorn.  I put a few in my purse and then when we get seated I just fill them a bag full and they eat without much mess and fighting.  That's just a tip that works for us.


David taught in Nearar Sunday morning and then on Sunday evening we all went to worship at Bro. Fito's church in town.  

A few things to pray about are:  
1)  Our Nearar group has plans to start construction on the new building the last weekend of the month.  Pray that it gets off to a smooth start.  
2)  There are a few people wanting to be baptized from the village of Porto Suelo (praise the Lord!).  Pray for the details of that to be worked out.  
3)  Pray for the health of Nicolas in the village of La Libertad. 
4)  Pray for the father of one of our former agricultural students in the village of Lagunetas.  She recently called to tell us about an accident he had that involved him getting 20 stitches.  Usually when this happens we always get asked for money or help.  David listened to her share and then when he asked if they needed anything she simply said "I just called to ask you to pray for him".  That blew us away.  It is good to know that in time of need she thought to call us for prayer.  So, join us in praying for his recovery.  We tried to visit with them on Saturday afternoon but they were not home.  We hope to return soon.
6)  Continue to lift up Bro. Jose Maria and his congregation in El Palmar.  They have begun meeting in their new building even though it is not completely finished.  Pray that they would grow in numbers and be a lighthouse for the locals in that community.  We plan to join them again for worship soon.
5)  Lastly, Bro. Fito mentioned two churches that he knows of that are struggling and without pastors.  Both are in neighboring departments and not very close to where we are.  Pray for those believers to stay encouraged and for God to send someone to lead them.

 Happy hump day!  Hold on, the weekend is coming.
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