A New Homeschool Routine

Homeschooling is quite the adventure, and anyone who has homeschooled knows, no two years are ever the same. Especially when you decide to go a different direction that what you had planned, because life happens. Since my papa died, I decided to take a step back from being a part of a PSP (Private Satellite Program) or a co-op. I felt I needed to focus on our family and our kids needs uninterrupted. I need this next school year to walk through this fog I am currently living in. No filling my mind with to-do lists for somebody else, just step back, take a deep breath and do what is in front of me. Needless to say, this is turning out to be an abundantly full year. We are busier than ever, but the agenda is just our kids!

This new freedom has allowed us to venture out and do new things which have been a great blessing to my kids. My husband has been loving this change too!0917181144

We have been able to to schedule special field trips when it works best for my hubby’s work schedule, without the worry about finding a sub for my classes.

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And even though my kids do get tired of back to back tours, we all have a great evening talking about what we learned and what we thought was amazing about the places we visit.

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We have even included some weekly horseback riding lessons, my girls are loving it at Cloverleaf Ranch. They are also looking forward to their summer camp this year.

In addition to all this activity outside the home, I have been able to add more domestic art activities at home. Like painting, sewing, baking and cooking. The new domestic arts really just allows me to be with my family and teach something my mind can handle. The additional blessing is that we have been able to invite other homeschoolers to join in the fun!

Tuesdays are Sewing Day.

The best part is, that it all has value in the grand scheme of things. Painting can be a great outlet for creativity or leisure time, sewing will give them the ability to create or mend something. Plus with baking and cooking, how can you go wrong? We all need to eat right!?

Thursday’s are Painting Day.

This new direction has been a great blessing so far. I have no idea what the next school year will hold. Whether it will be the same or not. But I don’t need to worry about that how, just enjoy what I have before me now.

Our family of cows.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

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Studying History Thru the Bible

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It is no surprise to my closest friends how much I love history. I have a passion for making history come alive for my kids thru hands-on activities and planning field trips to historical sites. I even put together slideshows to make the learning visual. But in the past few weeks, this hasn’t felt like it was quite enough.

What do I mean? Well, I want to include more Bible in our history. But why not study history with the Bible as our main guide? After all our timeline pretty much lines up with the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament pointing to the birth of Jesus Christ and the New Testament revealing and explaining who he is. We are living in the timeline of the great Creator, the One who knows all things. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13. So, I will base our history on the Word of God.

So, what is my scriptural base for studying history this way? Well, Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

But why do we keep a record of history and why do we need to study history? We keep a record of history so we can read and think about people who lived long ago and how they acted. We can learn from their successes and their failures so that we can make wise decisions.

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-12

What really has left an impression on me is that God had ordered people to keep written records. This to me screams, “history is important!” We can even look at some examples in the Bible of God telling people to write things down as a written account of events;

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Exodus 17:14

“Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel.” Deuteronomy 31:19

He even commanded the prophets to write down what he had said and done.

” And now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.” Isaiah 30:8

“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you.” Jeremiah 30:2

Much of scripture is a record of the mighty deeds of our Lord, like in 1 Chronicles;

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
    make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
    tell of all his wondrous works!

 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
    seek his presence continually!
   Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
    his miracles and the judgments he uttered,”

So, I guess the next question is, why do I want to study history this way? Why is it that important to me? Well, as a Christian, I want to know more about the God of all creation. I want to learn more about his mercy and his sovereignty. I want to learn about God’s character throughout history as he directs the affairs of men. But mostly I want to glorify Him in what I do.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

With all that being said, I look forward to sharing with you what our study of history will look like in our family.

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“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

Bible Memory Work- The Books of The Bible

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Hello Friends!

Today I wanted to share with you some of the Bible memory we are currently working on. This is something that is very personal to me, mostly because the homeschool journey is very personal. It involves my husband and I deciding what we want our children to learn, and the study of the Bible is no different. For my oldest this is a review, and for my youngest it is her first time.

We are currently working on memorizing all 66 the books of the Bible and the names of the 12 disciples. We started by singing the 27 books of the New Testament. Our favorite YouTube video for this is here and for the Old Testament click here.

For learning the 12 disciples. Here is the list we memorized:

1. SIMON (who was called Peter)

2. and his brother ANDREW

3. JAMES son of Zebedee

4. and his brother JOHN

5. PHILIP

6. and BARTHOLOMEW

7. THOMAS

8. and MATTHEW the tax collector

9. JAMES son of Alphaeus,

10. and THADDEUS

11. SIMON the Zealot

12. and JUDAS ISCARIOT, Who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:2-4)

To print a copy of this months memory work click here.

I will admit, I do have fun introducing the new memory work, but the best part for them, is that I get the challenge of learning with them. You see, I was not born into a home, in which these things were taught. But I feel that a good education in our faith requires us to learn everything we can about the Bible. From the fact that the Bible is in 2 main parts the Old and the New Testament. Learning that the Old Testament has 39 books and that the New Testament has 27, making a total of 66 books in the Bible. Next we will be learn which books are what, like the the first 5 books of the Bible are the books of Law, books 6-13 are of Justice, then we will learn the books of wisdom or poetry, the major and minor prophets, the books of the gospel, church history, the letters, and the prophecy. We will learn this along with our scripture memory work, working to hide these scripture verses in our heart, that we may call upon them when we need them. Or better yet, so the Lord can remind us of His infinite wisdom in all circumstances.

 “Blessed are you, O Lord;
    teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare
    all the rules of your mouth.
 In the way of your testimonies I delight
    as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts
    and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes;
    I will not forget your word.”

Psalms 119:12-16

Sister in Christ,

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Sewing Stuffies With Kids

After hosting a Sewing Camp at my house, my kids get super inspired to sew something after all great projects the girls make. So, even though I am tired after sewing with six girls, we set to work! My kids explore sewing books for further inspiration, then settle on a project. Next they pick out fabric, and cut out all their pieces!

Here is what my son came up with!

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I just LOVE the personality of his pillow bear!!! The eyebrows were not part of the original pattern, but when you make your own, you can do what you want! So hear he is with brows!

Peanut made a stuffed dog, no surprise there!

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It was a must, to sew up a puppy using flannel fabric that had dogs on it! She seriously can’t get enough dogs! Her bed is full of them!

My oldest Mia Moo joined in Sewing Camp. Here are some of the things she made this year!

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A new throw pillow for her room, a draw string bag for little things and a oversized bag for overnights!

So far I think we have done well adding more sewing to our life!

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California History: Geography

As some of you know, I absolutely love to study and read about history. So when I was asked to teach California History at our campus day I said, “yes!” How could I not, after all I was going to have 2 of my kids in the class!

So, for our first project I decided we should all get familiar with the geography of California. After all, everything the we will be studying will be about our state. So here is what we did!

I invited all the parents in class to get a large pizza box, you can ask any pizza restaurant for a large box and they will gladly give it to you. Next I gave each student an oversized print out of California to cut out and trace in their pizza box. After that we made salt dough to create the California, keeping in mind the valley’s and mountains.

Here is our recipe;

2 cups AP flour

1 cup salt

Add just enough water to make cookie dough consistency. If it is sticky add more flour.

Your child should easily be able to shape the state of California on his or her own. I had many class helpers to help me mix in class, however there were a couple kids who didn’t get a chance to make theirs in class. So the were able to finish at home. Just like my son.

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Looking good!

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Don’t forget to add your mountains and the central valley!

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After almost 2 weeks of letting the salt dough dry, we started to paint the different regions by color.

Yellow paint, for the Central Valley( Salinas, San Fernando and Los Angeles Basin)
Green paint, for coast and forest ares (includes entire coastline and Sierra Nevada)
Brown paint, for Desert areas (Mohave and Colorado)
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We just used kids craft paint for this project, nothing fancy.

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No to to let the paint dry!

Later we added the main rivers, lakes, the Pacific ocean and the neighboring states.

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After this was all dried, we waited a few weeks before we came back to this map. We waited until we started talking about the Missions. At this point, we made little flags with all the missions and hot glued them on the map in the location they are built in California.

What we did after we printed my list was snap toothpicks in half and tape the names on like flags. All 21 missions.

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Here is another view.

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The only thing we didn’t do at this time, was write the name of the states neighboring California and the Pacific coast. But we did add them later.

The pizza box made it easy to transport from class to home, and then from home to class. The toothpicks snapped in half made closing the pizza box doable. But if something gets places on top of the pizza box some of the toothpicks will stick to the top. We had that happen to one of our maps.

I hope you enjoyed our California History project and I would love to see pictures if you decide to make one for your homeschool lesson.

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“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28

 

Homeschool Goal #4

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Another fun homeschool goal is more time in the kitchen! Yes, homeschool goal #4 is teaching a real cooking class to my kids. It’s one thing when they follow a simple cookie or muffin recipe, but to learn real knife skills, food safety, what is the difference between braise and Saute, what is a pan sauce, etc. That is the goal for this school year. Setting aside some time to make a meal from picking out your ingredients and making a main, side and vegetable dish.

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Plus, dessert! Which for many is the best part! When I say dessert I mean, let’s take advantage of the fruits of the season and make a fresh fruit tart, a rustic gallete or 100% homemade ice cream sandwiches! Cooking should be fun and a way to bring us closer together as a family as we work in the kitchen together.

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Another bonus, is teaching them this skill can be used to serve others in our community or neighborhood. If a sick neighbor needs a meal, they can make one. If they are at a friend’s house and they notice that helping hands are needed, they can with confidence lend a helping hand. It is the beauty of learning to serve just as our Lord Jesus came to serve and not be served. We are to be hands and feet.

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“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV

Homeschool Goal #3

Homeschool goal #3

Continuing my list, #3 homeschool goal for the new school year is to spend more creative art time with the kids.  Doing lots more hands-on art projects for science and history. Plus working on some themed paintings.

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There truly is something soothing about putting on some classical music and breaking out the acrylic paints and canvas and just exploring colors and shapes. It’s also the best medium to teach kids that things don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes painting is just the opportunity to express our feelings, whether be color choices or by brush strokes. It really can be a therapeutic process. I know I thoroughly enjoy it, and absolutely love watching children paint on canvas. Kids truly love receiving a canvas to work on. They feel so proud, honored, and mature for the opportunity to work on them.

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I love watching their expressions when I set up our art space.

The best part is teaching them how to take constructive criticism. I know this is a huge challenge for many of us. We can get offended or hurt. But this has worked as a discipline in our house, so that we can work to improve  ourselves without taking offense (no this has not been seamless of course). Plus, learning just because someone has some feedback, it does not mean we should or have to take it. Then the bigger part is how do you respond to someone’s criticism, without being rude or angry. That is tough, even for adults. As for me? Absolutely, it can be difficult!

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Oh, the blessing this provides for more teachable moments, for them and for me.

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I hope you find the time and to courage (as it can be sometimes) to add more art time to your routine.

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“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6