Showing posts with label Unit Studies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unit Studies. Show all posts

August 24, 2012

7 Things I am Thankful For...

1. This was our first week officially back to school. It turned out to be our best first week back to school yet! I was met with lots of smiles and excitement from our boys at the beginning of the week as we looked forward to a very full 5 days ahead.

No, things are not organized to where I'd like them to be at the start of our school year, but is it ever? No. But, we really just wanted to get started. So, with MOST of our curriculum received (some is still arriving every couple days), we dove in. T, our 4 year old preschooler is officially joining us this year. And our rowdy needs-to-be-involved-with-everything-we're-doing-and-thinks-he's-just-as-big-as-the-rest-of-them 2 year old is along for the ride as well. As we began our day with a bit of bible study and prayer, I quickly realized that I had not taken into consideration that they could possibly need me all at the same time once we began our work.

Huh!? What was I thinking? Of course they would all need my help all at once. So, I took lots of notes on our first day and decided I needed to stagger Math and Language Arts lessons (so far). What that means is that while I'm helping one of the boys with math, the other can read with the younger ones. And then when it's time to help someone else with writing, the others can begin their art projects or something that can be done with a bit more independence. All of our other learning will be done mostly together as we do everything else Unit Study Style. Can you see why I love unit studies so much? Teaching (and learning) everything separately would be so difficult for us...and not nearly as fun. I was so very thankful my mom was here that first day to help out as one question after another followed by the "mom, help me" requests rolled on throughout the morning.

 Yes, we had milkshakes at the park after school one day.

2. We are loving our Artistic Pursuits curriculum. Before this year, we'd never actually used a curriculum for art. We just created! And I'm thankful we did. Allowing our boys to draw, paint, create and use their imaginations using all kinds of mediums  has really been good for them. I still love to fill the table with a plethora of art supplies and let them have at it, but we are learning SO MUCH MORE with Artistic Pursuits.

As with almost all things, I am always trying to multi-task. So when our boys are busy being creative at the table, I typically take that time to clean up the kitchen. But this week, when C (our 6 year old) met me with all kinds of "I can't do this" and "this doesn't look very good" and "I'm not very good at this kind of art"....I realized that I needed to roll up my sleeves, put my dish towel down and encourage this little one by creating art WITH him. I hardly ever take the time to do that. But as I did, his heart changed and so did mine. Instead of getting frustrated with him for his attitude, I gently encouraged him while giving him my focused attention and time. We talked about the kind of artwork I created at the age of 6 and that learning new things takes practice and patience. And as we sat there together, drawing...we talked of the kind of artwork God creates for us to enjoy. Many lessons were learned on this day.

3. God is really speaking to me through these passages of His Word as He continues to work in my heart...

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity." -Jeremiah 29:11-14

"A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." -Proverbs 16:9

"A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?" -Proverbs 20:24

"Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." -Proverbs 3:5-6
Notice a theme here?.... (emphasis added...mine)

4. The boys were in the production of Peter Pan this week! It was their first ever real play written, produced, directed and choreographed by our friend Miss M....and she's only 10 years old. I'm so very proud of her and of everyone involved. I'll be posting more about this amazing experience and even how God met us there, very soon. 

5. Yesterday marked the release of a brand new eBook I contributed to for homeschooling families titled: You Can Do It Too!: 25 homeschool families share their stories This book holds a special place in my heart as it tells the stories of homeschooling families like us who have chosen to share their lives with others in hopes of encouraging those who are just starting out on their journeys toward home education, thinking about it or are already many miles down that road and needing to know they aren't alone. I am so blessed to be a part of this book and included with some really amazing moms who I really admire and respect.

6. Today, I am thankful for our health. This has been the first week in a while that we have seen and felt true health in our family. All of the normal colds have run through our family multiple times this Summer and with each cold. C gets croup/stridor and has to take steroids to keep his airway from completely closing off. The rest of us have all been sick as well. And then the worst of it came two weeks ago when our youngest was plagued with the worst ever rash I had ever seen accompanied by a 103.5 fever and body aches. He was miserable! As it turned out, he had Fifth Disease. It's a bit like the chicken pox in that it's a virus and just needs to run it's course. Once you've had it, you don't get it again. Oddly, none of the rest of us got it, so we must be immune because we certainly share our germs around here. Needless to say, I am so glad we are all healthy again.

This is how our little guy woke up one morning and what sent us racing to our Pediatrician's office. His arms were so red and hot to the touch. 

Within a day little E's whole body was covered with this terrible rash. It didn't itch, but the fever persisted which caused him to not eat or drink OR SLEEP much during the week. I felt so bad for him as he's never been that sick before. So thankful he's healthy again.

7. And last, but not least...I am over-the-moon excited about the new Hope For the Weary Mom expanded edition written by Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker coming out soon. Do you remember the 7 Days of Hope Weary Moms Series I hosted here this year? This was the book we used for that series, which I LOVE. But, I can't even begin to tell you how amazing the new release version is going to be. Last week Brooke and Stacey let everyone know they were putting together a New Release Launch Team together and needed willing participants. Because I believe so much in the message of this book, I prayed a quick prayer and then jumped at the chance. I feel like it's an absolute gift and privilege to get to be a part of this team of incredible women who feel the same way I do.

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Linking up with: 7 Quick Takes & Weekly Wrap Up & Big Family Friday

July 13, 2012

Learning with Unit Studies

When our boys were little and there were only two of them, we discovered the joys of going to the library. There were imaginary worlds and interesting insects to discover. Animals we'd never heard of and stories of knights and dragons graced the pages of beautifully illustrated children's books. We fell in love with the characters of so many wonderfully written stories and discovered the joy of nonfiction. Biographies of great explorers and inventors, big colorful reference books about outer space and hundreds of books about underwater sea creatures. It was all there. Anything we wanted to learn about, we found in a book.

At that time, when our boys were only 2 and 4...we had made the decision to homeschool, but had no idea how to do it. I didn't even know there were "methods" of homeschooling your children. Words like Classical approach, Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, School at Home, Unit Studies, Waldorf, Notebooking, Lapbooking and Eclectic had no meaning to me....until I did my research and realized we had already chosen our preferred method of homeschooling and didn't even know it at the time.

Whenever we went to the library, my oldest son would choose books from the children's section that interested him, like Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan and then we'd head over to the "real life" books, as my son called them. We'd browse those aisles, make our selections and come home with bags full of books. Every time I sorted through them to put them on our "library shelves" at home, I would notice that there were "real life" books related in some way with some of the story books we had chosen.

And this is how we began our Unit Study approach to homeschooling....a natural wonder and curiosity to find out more and more about one thing at a time that interested my boys.

My friend, Carlie from So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler? has an amazing Summer Series going on over at her blog called Homeschool Methods & Approaches. Each week during June and July she features different homeschoolers who use different methods to teach their own children. I am so honored to have been able to be a part of this series as I wrote a post about our Unit Study approach for her series.

You can read more about how we include unit studies in our homeschooling days by visiting Carlie's blog. 

I'd love to hear about what works for you. What method or approach to homeschooling works best for you and your kiddos?

April 16, 2012

Celebrating Each Day Of The Year With Mini Unit Studies

I've shared before that we are a family that loves unit studies. To us, they just make sense and work well for this crew of four very active boys. Today, I'm very excited to share my first published post with you over at The Homeschool Classroom. 

If your homeschooling style includes unit studies or you're looking for something new and fun to do with your kids, come check out how we celebrate each day of the year with mini unit studies.There are so many well known holidays celebrated throughout the year, but even more that are less known and can make for great opportunities to teach your kids how to be thankful for every single day of the year.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm  118:24

I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the amazing writing team over at The Homeschool Classroom. If you have a moment, take some time to check out the many posts written by some very talented moms. These are moms like you and me....loving and teaching their children every day.

Linking up with: 
The Better Mom

February 24, 2012

Our Superhero Review featured on Homeschool Share Blog

Last summer our boys and I were thrilled to receive a Kindergarten Kit on Superheroes to review from Homeschool Share. Of course, nearly every day around our house is a superhero kind of day in some way. Our boys LOVE all things superheroes.

So, when I saw that our review was featured on the Homeschool Share Blog (which I love)...I got really excited.  

This gives me another opportunity to brag a little about a great educational resource. It really is one of those unit studies that is all inclusive with regard to teaching Kindergarten skills, but can easily be adapted for younger and older kids. We did and they loved it. Did I mention it's FREE?

Because it held their interest so easily, it provided a lot of opportunity for pretend play, creative games and especially heart level conversations about God and real superheroes. You can read my full review of this Superhero K Kit HERE and find it featured on the Homeschool Share Blog HERE. 

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