Where there's water, there's children. And where there's water and children, there's mischief.
Welcome and Blessings!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I am still trying to gain my focus on what I am going to teach and how I did it in the past, so I am still thinking and writing through my ideas and plans... However, I am going to share it here... (so I don't lose my notes (o;)
To keep the small ones busy, I will provide them with lots of copy work... the way I usually do copy work is more time consuming but saves money...
Handwriting/Copy work (every day--independent)
- First I get some very cheap lined paper (for beginning handwriting) and I make a "book" by stapling several sheets of this cheap paper between construction paper (or whatever I have).
- Then I use a ball point pen and write letters for them to copy.
- They use a magic marker or highlighter pen to copy the letters...the marker makes it "fun," and is usually a "treat" for them.
- I also make sure to help them decorate there new book. Stickers can be used as well as crayons and markers to make a picture. I also make sure I write there name on the book.
- Once the child has mastered their letters and numbers, I go on to words, then sentences...I prefer Scripture verses, not only does that teach writing, but once they begin to read that reinforces there memory verse for the week.
- Sometimes I use Donna Young's handwriting worksheets to teach the correct way to write in cursive...I often let the child decide when they would like to write in cursive as I have often began them in 1st grade (which was their choice).
Saxon Math teaches almost all the skills a child needs, but if you are not using a curriculum for your small children (K-1st grade) you can do many different things...
- Use counters to teach counting... anything here can be used from army men or teddy bear counter to beans or noodles.
- Use toys to teach positions (front, middle, back...first, second, third....and so on)
- Use your same counters to teach addition and subtraction... This method makes math real to your child. Make rows, trains (with blocks), towers, airplane seats... adding and taking away so the child begins to understand math.
- Use apples to teach division. When you cut an apple in half how many pieces do you have now? So 1/2 apple plus 1/2 apple equals one whole apple.
This is one of those subject that many throw there hand up in the air about... How do you teach spelling?
Well if you teach phonics to your child, then your child will learn to spell phonetically. However, sometimes words are not spelled phonetically so as you are going over your child's copy work, you find the spelling mistakes that they made. Those "mistakes" are now your "spelling words" for the week. Have the child/ren write those words 3-5 times each day for 3 days. Give a pre-test on Thursday, if the child scores a perfect score on Thursday then count that for the test, if not, have the child retake the test on Friday.
Any words that were not spelled correctly on the Friday test can be added to the following weeks spelling lesson, because we all know, "Practice makes perfect."
In addition to writing our spelling words, I also have my children write the pronunciation, definition, and different forms of the word (with prefixes, suffixes, plural form, past, present, future tense if verb).
Language Arts (every day--group lesson, worksheets independent)
Language arts is spelling (covered), grammar, reading (which I include in Literature), word study, and expository and creative writing which includes essays, letters to friends or family, and poetry.
Shurley English covers most of these topics... that is grammar, writing, word study, and abbreviations (including states, their capitols, postal abbreviation, & the outline of the state).
It uses jingles or poems to teach about parts of speech, etc. Each day we outline a sentence and learn or review a concept, then follow up with a worksheet. Each week we learn new words (synonyms & antonyms), take a test, write a paragraph, and learn 2 new states.
When I am teaching English, I usually try to include my younger children in singing the "jingles" so they can memorize these poems (which teach the parts of speech). Young children can be taught some of the parts of speech...mainly nouns and verbs. This can actually be very fun as you can ask them to jump, run, dance, etc. or to get the cat, a toy, or something that is a noun.
History/Social Studies (3 times per week--group lesson, independent reading)
We are basically learning about people and events from the past. Reading the Bible from the beginning to the children is teaching them about the past...how the world began. This is a very good place to start.
I use Tapestry of Grace to teach History, Biblical Worldview, etc. I also use their maps to teach Geography.
For my younger children, I have often read Genesis 1-3 to them and had them illustrate what happened on the Days of Creation...wow, we just covered 2 subjects... history & art! Then I might have them copy a verse or the verse that refers to the day we just discussed and our handwriting is done for the day!
Science (2 times per week--group lesson)
Science is a study of God's Creation...the earth, the animals, the human being, the way things work, electricity, magnets, weather, clouds, etc.
What curriculum do you use? Good question! But we have chosen Apologia Science. You can read the lessons out loud to ALL of your students... making sure your little ones are coloring and occupying themselves, then finish up with discussion and then, if your child is able, have them follow up with the questions at the end. Many parents will have their child dictate to them what they have learned and then the child will copy what their parents have written on their papers, then as the child gets older you can teach them to rephrase the sentence and find the answer themselves.
Bible (every day as a group)
We sing the Old and New Testament songs, recite our catechism questions & answers, teach memory verses, sing Scripture verses, read the Bible, and talk about the character of God. This can be done anytime... say you do a morning devotion and Bible reading during breakfast, and at lunch read your Proverb of the day (corresponds with the date), and then during "school" time sing songs, work on memory verse, work on catechism questions, dinner time can be a question & answer session with dad.
Art (once or twice a week)
There are so many things to do in art, I don't even know where to start. But many things can be considered art. Say you have a Lego genius, like me, have them build a structure and then take a picture of it to put in your portfolio...that is sculpture.
Drawing can be anything from animals, trees, your house, to tea cups, fruit, glass jars, eggs, popcorn, etc. They are basically learning small motor skills. You can buy a book for ideas or find some websites (Like Donna Young's) to help you, but art is basically ANYTHING creative... from knitting & sewing (fibers) to painting & sculpture.
Other ideas that may help are to have you children make cards for family members who are having birthdays. Make sure to take a picture and stick it in you portfolio though!
Health (once per week)
Simple...caring & learning about our bodies. This includes how our body works, dental care, grooming, what to feed & fuel our body, why we get sick, how to keep our bodies healthy, getting proper sleep, what to expect when mommy has another baby, how to care for our siblings, safety rules, gearing up (helmets & elbow & knee pads) for outdoor activites; protecting our skin, sight & hearing; what to do in an emergency, first aid, CPR, when to call 911; what drugs, alcohol, smoking & junk food does to our bodies, how our body changes when we get older, etc.
Music (once or twice per week)
Composers & their music (reading out of a book).
Learning to read & play music.
Listening to music & learning to appreciate it.
Teaching musical instruments (or music lessons outside of the home).
Physical Education (every day...as my children are quite active)
Learning what to do to keep our bodies fit which includes learning how to play different team sports (& rules), learning how to play individual sports (& rules), learning what activities we should do everyday and learning about warming up, stretching & cooling down.
I thing that should be a good enough start for me... it gives me a few great ideas on subjects that I have not taught before (as the laws out here are different). Hope you find this helpful too!
Homeschool Lesson Goals
Reading/Phonics – How to Tutor Lessons
- Writing & Singing ABC’s
- Writing & Spelling name
Math – Next lesson for boys (in Saxon Math), Saxon Math 1 & 2 (2nd grader...she didn't finish Math 1, and I will not go to Math 2 until she has finished)
- Shapes & Counting (1 – 20)
- Writing numbers
- Basic Addition, Subtraction, & Division
Bible – Memory verse each week & TOG curriculum (focuses on what the Bible says and why certain people did what they did)
- Bible Stories
- OT & NT Songs
- Catechism Questions
- Singing Scripture
Music – Identifying notes, Listening to music, Composers & their music, Singing (refer to Bible)
- Instruments? – piano, cello, keyboard, trumpet, guitar?
Art – Colors & Mixing Colors, Still Life drawings, Animal Drawings, TOG curriculum
- Using different mediums – crayons, markers, play dough, paint?
English – Spelling (Natural Speller?), Language Arts (Shurley English?), Writing (Write Like Crazy?)
- Identifying punctuation
- Identifying nouns & verbs
Science – Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day?, Butterflies & Bees mini books?
Social Studies – TOG curriculum
Health – Learning about our bodies and how to take care of them.
Physical Education – Team Sports
- Reciting Nursery Rhymes
- Fairy Tales & Fables
The indented items are mainly thoughts on teaching my little ones... They will be 1st grade & younger. TOG stands for Tapestry of Grace Curriculum.
The main goal with my little ones is to keep them busy while I teach the older children. The less idle time they have, the less they get into trouble.
Other ideas when trying to keep your littlest content is to have your older children take turns occupying baby while you teach the others. And as baby begins to sit up and play, get a basket of toys (safe for baby) and set in front of him/her. That usually keeps them busy for a good long time. If all else fails, invest in a carrier of some kind...I suggest the Ergo baby carrier, and put baby in there until he/she falls asleep.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Wow, has it been busy...
My folks flew in for a visit last Thursday and left today. We had a great time, but were we ever busy!!!
My sister, who is traveling for her job right now, also joined us on Sunday and Monday...
But that is not all!!!
You see, I have family that lives in Scotland. And my cousin had planned to visit the states in July & August. Well, his plan flew in to the same airport my folks flew in at SO we picked him up and he stayed with us overnight...we had a very wonderful, but quick visit...
So to make a long story short...
My husband went & picked up my parents at the airport on Thursday, then went back to the airport to pick up my cousin on Saturday, took my cousin back to the airport on Sunday (as he was going to see our grandpa & family in the midwest), on the way back we picked up my sister at the train station, then took my sister back to the train station on Monday and today my husband we to the airport AGAIN to take my folks back to the airport...
Stats goes as follows:
4 round trips to airport in 6 days
2 trips to the train station in 6 days!!!
That's a lot of traveling for someone who is used to staying home!!!
BUT, that's not everything that went on!!!
My oldest son had his birthday on Sunday and mine was yesterday!!! He turned 11, I turned 24 PLUS 11... (O;
All I have to say is...I need to catch my breath!!! And to do that I am going to dig in my garden, wash tons of laundry, tweak my already clean house, and plan my homeschooling year!!!
My wonderful mother helped me get things all nice and tidy!!! What a GREAT birthday present!!!
And to top it all off, we are going to start homeschooling in 2 WEEKS!!!!! I wanted to start earlier but the homeschool law here says we need to give 15 days notification with a consent to homeschool letter. That gives me time to plan and get materials ready...printing up worksheets for my younger children and studying the curriculum for my older children.
So, if you come around and wonder if I dropped off the face of the earth...NO, I'M HERE!!! Just a little preoccupied!
But the Lord is good and gave us plenty of strength!!!
Have a great week in the LORD!!! (As I won't be around much!)
Monday, July 21, 2008
This is a poem that I originally wrote for my cousin's first babies (twin girls) that tells a tale of how it really is with new babies..
than your babies first smile,
their first laugh,
their first coo,
And don't forget...
their first kisses,
(They try to eat your face!)
And when they get teeth,...
their first bite!
(OUCH! right on your arm,
in the middle of church!)
When they say Mama and Dadda,...
your heart sings with joy!
Cherish these moments,...
because they grow up too fast!
Ask anyone who's been there,
they'll tell you the same.
Oh, and something else...
When they realize that
the diapers have velcro,
and the jammies have zippers,
and they are stinky...
What happens, you say?
Well, they unzip their jammies,
& unvelcro their diapers...
What a stinky, rotten MESS!
(All over their brand new crib!)
Straight to the bathtub with you!!!
Enjoy these precious moments,
take loads of pictures,
and enjoy the rollar coaster
Children are a blessing from the LORD.
They are our gifts from God.
Kiss your babies,
Hug your babies,
Cherish every moment,
for in the blink of an eye,
they will be too big for your lap!
Friday, July 18, 2008
- sweeping floors easier
- washing clothes in the washer easier (as mine kept going out of balance today...had to babysit it)
- hanging laundry out on the line easier...without the threat of being infested with ticks & chiggers
- getting little silly girls down for their naps easier
- having children help with the tasks around the house easier (without the distraction of a snake eating a frog)
- getting to eat lunch ON TIME easier
- getting baby girl to sleep easier
- getting the house in order for daddy easier
- keeping the room that was just cleaned clean easier
I just want to push the easy button or the reset button... then I can keep up with all the work, HA! HA!!!
Lord, give me patience,
Lord, give me speed,
Lord, help me with this day,
to give hubby what he needs!
Friday, July 11, 2008
What a blessing it was when she was born.
I had a bad case of bronchitis and I coughed her out!
The nurses told me not to say how easy her delivery was because they didn't want the other mothers, in the hospital at that time, to be jealous!
She is a very sweet, soft-spoken (most of the time), and quiet little girl.
And what a blessing she is to me!
1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
As many of you know, last week was quite a challenge for me. However, you only knew part of it...
You see, my daughter got sick on Tuesday, I started to miscarry on Wednesday AND my friend (nearly sister) went into the hospital to have her baby on Thursday(she was induced). I had spoke of her earlier this year as she had several episodes of premature labor...well, she made it to 39 weeks for the first time in all her pregnancies. AND since she lives quite a ways away, when my hubby was up in their area for work he picked up their children and brought them home with us...so I had 9 children under the age of 11 (or almost 11) in my home for several days last week.
I had a 1-year-old (almost), a 2-year-old, a 3-year-old, a 4-year-old, a 5-year-old (almost), a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 9-year-old, and a 11-year-old (almost) in my home all at once...
Now, maybe your thinking, "NO wonder she miscarried!" No, that's not the case as the extra children arrived Tuesday evening (when I still wondered what was wrong with my daughter) and all we had to do was put them to bed.
Since I started miscarrying on Wednesday morning (around 5 a.m.), my older children took care of the younger children outside...Yes, we sent them all OUTSIDE to play...so the house was nice and quiet (for the most part).
It was quite busy those few days as we had their children from Tuesday evening to Saturday afternoon...
Thankfully a family from church drove up (2 hours away) on Friday to provide a meal and help with the cleaning... Shortly after they arrived, I arrived home with my daughter from the doctor.
However, with all the down time that I had to spend while trying to keep from miscarrying, I made up a chore chart for my children so things could start getting done daily around here...We are still trying to make it work, but I thought I would share our chore list with you.
NOTE: Usually we are unable to complete our tasks, but sometimes they get them done early in the day...
First thing I did was buddy up my children... The buddies (groups) are:
- 11-year-old (almost) with 6-year-old
- 9-year-old with 3-year-old
- 7-year-old with 5-year-old (almost)
Here are the jobs:
Group 1 does these jobs on Monday & Thursday, Group 2: Wednesday & Saturday, Group 3: Tuesday & Friday
- Unload Dishwasher
- Feed & Water Chickens (3 times daily), Gather eggs
- Pick Up & Sweep Living Room Floor
- Pick Up & Sweep Mudroom Floor
- Set Table for Breakfast & Clear food and dishes when done
- Pick Up & Vacuum Stairs
- Take ALL trash out & Replace trash bags
- Make Ice for drinks (which included emptying trays)
- Load Dishwasher
- Help Potty Train 3-year-old
- Clean & Sweep Kitchen Floor
- Set Table for Lunch & clear food and dishes
- Fold Laundry
- Clean & Sweep Bathroom Floors
- Scrub Shower & Tub
- Pick Up Laundry in ALL Rooms
- Changes baby's wet diapers
- Clean & Sweep Hallway Floors (upstairs & downstairs)
- Set Table for Dinner & clear food and dishes
- Make ALL beds (if not done yet)
- Changes Sheets (of assigned rooms once a week)
- Put away folded laundry
- Clean & Sweep Porch (our outdoor dining room)
- Scrub Toilets & Bathroom Sinks
So far that is the plan and if my children do their work, they get paid a little something and earn special privileges. But if I end up doing the job, they pay ME for it... $.25, unless I have been assigned to help them.
This new system is still a work in progress, and NO we NEVER get it all done, but hopefully we will eventually get the hang of it and finish our daily task lists.
I am one of those people that is organized in the brain, but not too organized on the outside...so I am working on this.
And if you were to put me in a class, the groups being "Cleanies or Born-Organized people" and "Messies ," I'm afraid that I would fall into the "Messies" category... Just being honest here, as I can't boast about my ability to tackle the entire house in one day, one week, or even one month. I am a work in progress, and I will be until my children are grown and able to help me more efficiently.
But those are the goals, I hope it helps you somewhat.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I know that there are some that are outraged that I waited until Friday (July 4th) to take my daughter to the doctor...
Well, I will clarify some of the details...
My daughter came down sick on Tuesday. I thought to myself, "Who has been to my house that had the flu?" I made a few calls to see if those that had visited had come down with the flu... No one had...and since we missed church on Sunday, I knew that it wasn't from church. But I still thought in the back of my mind that maybe it was a virus (not even recalling the fact that she had had painful urination a few days before...I have 7 children, it is really busy around here and I am a SCATTERBRAIN!!!).
I go by the rule, "If they have a fever for more than three days, take them to the doctor..."
As you know, the doctor isn't too concerned unless they have been sick with a fever over 103 degrees for more than 3 days*.
- NOTE: She didn't have a fever for three days straight...it went away for a day.
- NOTE: I live nowhere near family or friends as we moved states in February.
Though, Thursday night was an allnighter with my daughter, we made it through. I kept a close eye on her temperature and planned to find a doctor first thing in the morning. My children haven't been sick much this year, so I hadn't taken the time to find a doctor in this area (since our move).
The first thing I did Friday morning was to dive into my phone book. I called some doctors offices at 8 a.m. only to find that they were either not in the office (on a holiday) or they didn't open until 9 a.m. AND I didn't have an on-call number for ANY doctors in the area. The closest doctor I knew of was 2 HOURS AWAY.
So I patiently waited and got myself ready so I leave for the appointment ASAP.
Upon returning from the doctor, I gave my daughter her antibiotic and started a sick journal to keep track of her temperature, her symptoms, and the medicine she took (including making sure that I gave her antibiotic twice daily because I will forget if I don't). That journal is GREAT, as I haven't forgotten to give her antibiotic to her once!!!
So far, so good! She is feeling a lot better and the antibiotic worked! NO FEVER, NO SYMPTOMS of infection!!!
So, to answer the question as to WHY I didn't rush her to the hospital the minute she came down with a fever...
First, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a virus and I KNEW that it wasn't a virus when the fever returned.
Secondly....I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF A MISCARRIAGE!!! What am I expected to do?
I apologize if I have offended anyone.
And to all of my supportive bloggy buddies, THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! For all of your prayers and concerns with my daughter and my miscarriage. God heard your prayers and answered them, HIS way!!!
Monday, July 7, 2008
My miscarriage is over... and yes, I did miscarry. Today the pregnancy test that I took was negative. After such a long struggle with this miscarriage (not knowing if I was going to miscarry), I am relieved that it is OVER.
But I went through the storm after I started miscarrying...
You see, my almost 5-year-old daughter came down sick last week...very sick. She began running a very high fever on Tuesday (about 103.5 degrees). Earlier the week before she had complained of painful urination...then, with this fever she complained about her back hurting, and she wanted me to come with her to the bathroom. I started giving her cranberry juice immediately and I tried giving her a pain reliever to get the fever down, but she couldn't keep the fever reducer down. The cranberry juice also upset her tummy...so she was also throwing up. I tried giving her garlic in applesauce (because it is good for infection, garlic that is)... but that also upset her tummy.
I finally was able to get her fever down and once I did she began eating Multigrain Cheerios like she had never eaten in her life! But to no avail, the fever came back. However, it left on Wednesday again. She slept peacefully that night and I found some relief hoping that the storm was over...
but it wasn't.
Thursday it began again...with a vengeance. She woke up from her nap with another high fever. I again started giving her a fever reducer, but it spiked Thursday night and would not budge. So, after trying to go to bed that night, I found myself going downstairs with my daughter and being stirred every 30 minutes to take her to the bathroom...
(I had been searching online for answers earlier that week and found that she probably had a kidney infection...)
Friday morning came too soon as I did NOT sleep at all that night...nor did she. So, I began my search in the yellow pages for a doctor (we didn't have one here yet). It seemed forever to wait until 9 a.m. (on a holiday) to get to talk to a receptionist about an appointment, but I finally did and I made an appointment.
The doctor checked her all over...the also had me collect a urine sample from my daughter (she didn't even pee on me! ...I know, more info than you needed to know). Anyway, (O; there was a LOT of blood in her urine, she had an ear infection (that had not been detected by me) and her fever was 100.6 degrees. So with the ear infection and urinary tract (possibly kidney) infection, she was quite a sick one. The scary part was when the doctor told me that if she didn't get better from the antibiotic in 2 days, that she would have to be admitted to the hospital...because kidney infections don't usually respond well to Augmentim.
Well, so far she is better and it has been 4 days! Praise the LORD!!!
My daughter has NEVER taken any antibiotics, so that is probably why she responded so well to it, but the credit should be given exclusively to the LORD!!! I am amazed that every day she awakes, she is fever free and happy. She is still exhausted from the ordeal, as her naptime has been longer than usual and she has NO problem falling asleep, but I am extremely grateful that she is better.
I am resting in the LORD's strength...
He is my comfort,
He is my hope,
He gives and He takes away,
Thank you for giving me my daughter's health, LORD!
With tear in my eyes,
I bid my farewell!
Put you trust in the LORD!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Yes...it is a definite miscarriage.
It all started yesterday morning. I am doing okay with it...though, I'd rather not have to go through miscarriage AGAIN...
As these are the dates that I have miscarried (including this present one):
- December 22, 1999
- June 3, 2001
- August 4, 2006 (ectopic pregnancy surgery)
- July 2, 2008
But our days are numbered, and some of our children only have a few weeks in the womb...others maybe more...but it is all in God's perfect will.
Nothing happens outside of God's will. He has shown me that time and time again. I am at peace with this miscarriage as I am with all of my miscarriages. I know God has His plan and His purpose for each and every challenge that comes our way. This is one of the ways He draws us nigh unto Him and gets our attention.
I guess I will just snuggle with my youngest for now as she is a very sweet and petite baby...
Thank you for all your prayers and comments, they blessed my heart and spirit!