Saturday, October 4, 2008

School, School, School

Our family enjoying the art of playing cornhole in Indiana!
Madison enjoys a ride with Laura Johnson on the paddle boat!
Jett absolutely loved the tire swing at Heather's grandmother's house in Indiana.
Kaitlyn loves to be a part of the children's ministry during worship time....she loves the games and helping the younger kids.

Many of you may already know that we homeschool our 3 children. Over 5 years ago, I was the counselor for a local elementary school (and loved it). God specifically spoke to my heart and told me that I was to take my oldest daughter home for school. I specifically said "No, you have got to be kidding..." I argued and battled with God for several weeks. I had mentioned to my husband who thougthfully just said "hmmm." Then, I gave up my battle and obeyed the Father. JT knew it was coming.

At the time, there were several things we didn't know about homeschooling: it is time consuming, people consider you weird, tends to be isolating during normal school hours, there is no break for the parent, etc.... However, there are also many wonderful aspects to it: seeing my children really "get" something; hearing every word they read; teaching a 4 year old to read who just learned to speak English, studying in our pajamas, and so much more.

Right now, we start our school day at 8:30 in the morning. With three children, we have to adhere to some type of schedule (although it fluctuates) so that everyone gets necessary time with Mom and/or Dad. So, we begin our day with the pledges and morning work (checking the temperature, the calendar, the number of days in school, and some vocabulary quizzes for the girls). Then, Madison begins penmanship and Kaitlyn starts math (which has a computer program with it when she gets stuck). I start with phonics and reading with Jett. He is already to say all of his vowels and their sounds as well as most of the ABC's. He can sound out many three letter words by himself. He is SO proud! Then, he begins working on handwriting and I start reading with Madison. Kaitlyn moves on to her penmanship during this time. Once Madison is finished, I allow Jett to listen to one of the school CDs (it either has a book or chart to follow along with ) while I call out spelling words to Madi and let her recite her poem. Kaitlyn always finishes handwriting early so she starts on her computer work (usually finishing it later in the afternoon). Then, Madison heads off to the computer for Bible, science and typing while I lead Kaitlyn's reading, spelling and poetry.

At that point, Jett is finished for the day and plays with either school games or toys in his room. Lately, he's just been "reading" books on his bed.....One of the girls will practice piano for 30 minutes while I lead the other one in the grammar lesson (actual work to be done later) and history. Then, we switch. Before you know it, the day's over...somewhere around 12:30 or 1:00.

Just this week both of the girls planned, preprared and served a full dinner to the family. I was there to help them but they pretty much did it by themselves. On Monday, Madison made a cheeseball with crackers (it was a HUGE cheeseball), steak sandwiches with chive butter and an apple/walnut salad. She also had gingerbread cookies for dessert (she decorated them like each family member). Kaitlyn's dinner was Thursday night, and she had 9 people to serve. She made a tossed salad with a homemade vinaigrette dressing, mashed potatoes, ranch chicken (so yummy) and chocolate mousse. Both of the meals were outstanding! I was so proud of them!

We are now geared up for the next 2 1/2 weeks without Poppa. He has left for Arizona to lead trips there. Jett and I will join him for 4 days next week. The girls are going to stay with their Memaw during that time, but Jett is just not ready for that. We will miss JT greatly but will stay focused on school and getting our house in order while he's gone. Thank you all for your prayers!

No comments: