Monday, August 26, 2013

I promised several days ago to continue on with our typical home school day. A little late, but here it is.....

After prayer and Bible study, Abby sits down with her Daily Learning Binder.  This binder includes calendar activities and weather activities. After she completes this task, we sit down to read. She reads her reading story to me. We talk about it and go over spelling and vocabulary words together. She then works in her Language Arts Binder (which includes Grammar, Spelling, Reading and Handwriting). After this, she does her math. She has a lesson on DVD to watch. After the lesson, she has worksheets to complete and I direct as needed. Right now we are doing Science, so that is the next subject covered. I was going to alternate Science and History, but I think our best bet is to cover Science the first semester of the year and then History the second semester of the  school year. After her core subjects are completed, she then has computer time. She works on spelling and reading during this time.

After classroom work is done, the learning does not stop. Abby is also learning life skills every day. She has helped with house cleaning, laundry, cooking, and other things since school has started this year. We talk and spend time together that we would never have the chance to before. We have had some very interesting conversations. We also have some quiet time away from each other to regroup.

PE is also included. Right now, it is cheer season therefore that is her PE and socializing time. She meets with her cheer team three days a week. We go to church on Wednesday nights and she loves her Bible Study group.  She starts piano lessons this week and she is really excited about that!  Life is good right now and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world! We would appreciate some prayers on a couple of unspoken requests.  I said life was good, not perfect!  ;-)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We had a great weekend! Mike and I, as Children's Directors at church, hosted a "Back to School Bash" at the city pool! We had lots of fun and so did all of the kids!  A great time was had by all!  Swimming and pizza! How can one go wrong with that combination? ;-)

The Church of the Future!!!!
Sunday afternoon, we made our annual trek to Kinlock Falls in Bankhead National Forest! Mother Nature's Waterpark!  We have been doing this for several years! We always have so much fun. I can always tell how good (or bad) of shape I am in after a trip here. ;-)

This is a natural water fall, that you can sit down on and slide into the pool of water below. The water is freezing but so refreshing on a hot, summer day!  But, after the slide down, you have to come back up! You have to climb back up the fall with a rope. It is fun exercise!!  There is also a cliff that you can jump off of but that isn't my cup of tea! Mike and Josh enjoyed it though!
We had a great weekend! Just because summer vacation is over, doesn't mean the summer fun has to end! We have another fun filled weekend planned for this Labor Day weekend. That is, after another week of school. ;-)

Friday, August 23, 2013

And on we go! Cheer practice has started and Abby attended an all day cheer camp last weekend. She had a great time! She will start piano lessons next week. I am excited about this! I hope this is something she really enjoys and wants to continue doing!

School is going great!!  Sara is doing great while we learn. She is such a good baby!!!  She loves to sit and listen to us read. She will sit for several minutes and listen to our Bible story each day. She loves to play with the toys that I have reserved for "classroom play" only!!  I pray God continues to bless us as we continue on our journey.

We still get "the looks" when we tell people we are homeschooling. I can tell that several want to express their opinions about it, but thankfully they keep it to themselves. God is leading us and guiding us.  I know he will not steer us wrong.

Abby has had a couple of run ins with other kids.  Of course they are negative about it, and it breaks my heart that kids are the way they are.  But, overall, most everyone is supportive (to our faces) anyway. Mike is more secure in our decision and I thank God for that.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I thought I would give everyone a rundown of our schedule. I started out with a schedule made down to 15 minute increments. That soon went out the window. Now, I plan on the material I want to cover each day and we go from there. That is the beauty of homeschooling! We can go as fast or as slow as we want. If I see Abby is having difficulty with something in particular then I slow down and take extra time with her. If it is material that she is grasping, we don't slow down and go on to the next item.

I am a very structured person! I am homeschooling, and I know that a lot of people have misconceptions about homeschooled kids. Well, not this mama!!!  Abby gets up every school day as if she were going to public school. Instead of getting up at 6 AM though, I do allow her to sleep until 6:30-6:45. I get up as usual between 5:30 and 5:45 AM and get myself ready for the day, cook breakfast, and get Mike out the door. Abby is up by 7 AM.  She eats breakfast and I let her chill until 7:30. She then must get her morning routine started and this consists of straightening her bedroom, her morning hygiene ritual, getting dressed and feeding and watering the inside animals.  About 8:30ish, we head upstairs to our classroom and begin our school day. EVERY school day starts with a prayer and bible study! It gets us going! We both enjoy it! Abby is keeping a Bible journal and loves to fill it up with everything that we study from the Bible.  She asked after about the second day of school why she couldn't study about Jesus in public school.  I told her that teachers weren't allowed to talk about Jesus. Her response? "Why mama? Jesus loves all of us." How sweet was that!?!?!  Just add this to my growing list of why I feel homeschooling is the option for us.

I will continue on in another post with how the rest of our school day goes.  Later gators!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Our first week of school has been great. There has been some trial and error along the way, but that is OK! We are rolling with the punches and we are adapting and overcoming!

Abby loves it and so do I. We are both exhausted and Abby went the entire week with no meltdown, that is, until Friday. She told me I was giving her too much work and being too hard.  Needless to say, after our conversation about it, she realizes that it may not be as bad as she thought.  ;-)  We are done with school about lunch every day. I told her that the days that she dilly dallies around are the days she thinks she has too much work. 

And on we go!!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our first field trip consisted of a trip to Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Since Sunflowers was our first official Science study, I thought this would be a great thing, plus it was free except for the gas down. :-)  It was very hot (one of the few miserably hot days we have had this summer) and we didn't get to see the entire park, but we are making plans to go back in the fall when the weather is cooler.

Abby had a sheet she had to take notes on of things that interested her on our trip.

She said the Lily Pad pond was her favorite. I liked it too!





After Botanical Gardens, we went for some lunch and then found a splash pad to cool down.
Abby completed a report on her trip to Botanical Gardens. It was a fun day with good friends!


Friday, August 16, 2013

I am a little late with an update, but school is going great! I am still very confident in our decision to do this and Abby is even more confident. Just because we homeschool does not mean we can't have the traditional first day of school pictures, right?  ;-) Abby was just as excited for our first day of homeschool as she always has been for public school. It did my heart good!!

And of course the requisite first day of school picture at her desk. Kit, joined her for the first day of school. :-)

Her first work as an official homeschooler. She is working on her daily calendar binder.

After our academics on the first day, we went to work on our first Science lapbook.  A study of sunflowers! Abby told me she wanted to learn more about them since she had a garden full of them.

And of course Anna made some sunflowers, too.

Our first day was a success and we had fun with it!!!  Onward!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

School officially starts today for us!!!  Abby is so excited! I am excited! Let's do this!!!!  More to come...

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Been a fun filled weekend. Yesterday, we hit the "world's longest yardsale." We spent all day yesterday doing that. Got a couple of good deals. Bought a table and couple of chairs for our school room and a stroller for Sara. Today, we had a great day time at the splash pad celebrating mom's birthday!

Summer vacation is winding down and we will be starting school soon. But, as I have told Abby, just because summer vacation is over, doesn't mean the fun has to end. We are both looking forward to our school year.  We plan on finishing up some organizing tomorrow so we can start the year off on the right foot!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Getting Ready

We have spent the better part of this week getting ready to start school. I have been busy lesson planning and Abby has been staying busy with summer work. We have also had some extracurricular activities to keep us busy.

Back a couple of months ago at the beginning of the summer, Abby and I saw a picture of an outside kitchen in a Disney magazine. We decided we would build one. We started out pretty good, but then dad had to step in to help us! Here are a few pictures of our "mudpie kitchen" journey.  :-)

It isn't finished yet, but it is getting there. We ran out of orange paint. Yes, orange paint! Abby picked the color. I am anxious to see our end results!
We also needed a bookcase for our homeschool area. I could not find exactly what I wanted at a reasonable price, so once again I pushed Mike to build one. He always says he isn't a carpenter, he is a mechanic. But, he always does a great job! This is what we have so far!

Yes, that is Abby being silly!!!  A little stain, and this bookcase will be done! See, Mike can swing a hammer when he puts his mind to it!