The Mailbox had a sale after Thanksgiving where you could get $100 worth of books for only $30. I knew that our children both needed some help with word families and phonics, so I ordered a pile of books.
These books are in a style similar to how my children were taught when they went to public school: lots of hands on learning with coloring, cutting, gluing and writing. I, typically, do not teach this way because my background is in Middle School and High School Education, not Elementary. We do a lot of drawing and writing but not much cutting and gluing.
Well, apparently, adding a glue stick and some scissors causes our daughter to shout, “this is the BEST day of school ever! I love this first grade!” I guess I’ll have to continue with these types of lessons. I would usually steer clear of these types of activities because it requires more prep, more paper/copying, and more mess.
BUT, it this makes learning more enjoyable and helps to solidify what they have learned, I am all for it!
Our littlest guy has been so fussy lately, but he slept through our entire school day.
On the Eve of St Nicholas each year, St Nicholas, himself, visits our parish to share some stories and give treats to the children. Our children look forward to this evening!
When they arrived home, the children put their shoes by the front door so that St. Nicholas could bring them treats while they were asleep.
On St Nicholas Day, the children and I made Kruidonten (ginger nuts), a traditional Dutch cookie for the holiday. They were sweet, spicy and crunchy; we might try dipping them in chocolate next year. Yum!
I haven’t written about it, but we are back to homeschooling again. We took a small break after Eric was born, and then we eased our way back into homeschool. This week, we are back to five day weeks until Christmas. CC is on break until January, so we are reviewing the Timeline and history sentences as well as beginning new math, writing, spelling, art and music. The kids continued their reading and thankful journals even after the baby was born, so we are just continuing along with that.
One history sentence talked about Henry the VIII and other monarchs, so we had a fun, impromptu lesson on Roman Numerals yesterday. I was impressed with how quickly the children got the hang of it.
I find that our home is much more peaceful on the days that we homeschool. We fall into a nice rhythm. I’ve also learned that we have to work around the baby’s moods. He takes a really long afternoon nap, so we’ve moved some/all of our work to the afternoons, and I find activities to keep them busy in the morning. The flexibility of homeschooling is a gift.
This morning I gave the children a huge pile of socks to sort. The little kids just turned it into a time to be crazy, but the older two worked hard. I told them I’d pay them one cent for each pair that put together. Then I offered fifty cents for the first child to reach fifty pairs. Then I used the money as a means of teaching math. I taught David a great lesson on division, and he caught on very quickly. This is a topic that we will get to later in the year, but I have high hopes for him already! Of course, little Eric was not left out:
Eric has started to leave the newborn stage, and with that, he has become fussier than he used to be. Now, I am not saying that he is a difficult baby because he is not, but Sunday was rough. He was up at 4:30am and fussed for hours. If I wore him in my Mei Tai or wrap, he was pretty happy though. Unfortunately, he was up until after midnight that night. I am very tired today!
He’s been very fussy tonight, too, but I discovered a trick! Just like his mama, he loves Boyz II Men, and “In The Still of the Night” calms him every time:
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are few people that I have known in my life who I can say are truly kind. Wes is one of these people. He is a man with a gentle, loving spirit who selflessly cares and provides for his family. He is a devout man of faith and also one of great intellect. And he needs our prayers.
On September 30, he suddenly could not speak, and his family took him to the ER. After much testing, last week they discovered that he has the most aggressive brain tumor there is: Glioblastoma. Wes is the sole provider for his family of six, several of whom have specific health needs.
The median survival time from diagnosis of this type of cancer is 14.6 months and only 10% survive to five years. They will begin treating him with chemo and radiation; surgery may be an option down the road, but not in the immediate future. Since these are all very expensive, they will be setting up a fund-raising site soon.
Wes and Alana have come up with a motto for their journey:
“God be glorified.”
Please support this wonderful family through your prayers
and visit Alana’s blog for updates.