Reveling in the glory and beauty of everyday life... all the mess and chaos of raising five little girls!

Friday, April 20, 2012

An Apple A Day

Over our Spring Break, I spent some time thinking through how to add life to our school days... how to thrive and not just muddle through. I think everyone (whether in a classroom or at home) probably hits a lull in the Spring as weather warms and indoor study seems less appealing. But, I shared a while back that many of my good intentions have sort of gone astray during pregnancy, family sickness, and in the daily struggles that arise. Often it seems that fun projects get put aside to take time for discipline, training and discipling. And I guess that is part of why we homeschool! :) But - I do want to thrive.

We have set aside our country studies for a while and are taking time to enjoy Sadie's preschool projects with the whole crew. Sadie finished All About Reading, Level Pre-One, and the next level was a bit too challenging for her. So, to bridge the gap, we jumped into the kindergarten program by My Father's World. While the curriculum is labeled as kindergarten, I feel it is really more appropriate as a preschool program. It is a letter-of-the-week style program, which means it concentrates on very basic letter sounds and short vowel reading. It has some very simple math, sweet Bible lessons incorporated with each new letter, hands-on activities, and good book recommendations. We are on Unit 4 and are enjoying the change. I think change is good, especially in springtime. :)

This week was A for Apple. The book selections were fun for this unit. We got to do things like make apple juice jello and write letters in it, and taste test several different varieties of fresh apples. We learned about how "if we remain in Jesus, we will bear much fruit!" and talked about the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians.

Apple Books! Funny - nearly every one of them had an apple pie recipe at the end. :)
Apple Graphing. We counted how many apples of each color we had.
After we taste tested (red delicious, golden delicious, fuji, granny smith, and an Asian pear (just for fun))the girls chopped them up to make an apple salad with Greek yogurt for lunch.

The fruits of the Spirit... and they only grow if we remain in Jesus. Trying to grow them on our own is like bringing in a fallen, dead branch from outside, placing it in a vase, and expecting it to sprout leaves! :)

I have also been trying to be more consistent and efficient with our mornings... getting things done in a timely manner so we actually start by 9 - with beds made, dishes washed, and kids all dressed. That doesn't seem like it should be hard, but it can be! We put out a blanket and pillows and are enjoying morning circle time and Bible before we sit at our desks or the kitchen table for lessons.

This week, Elisa finished her phonics program. She still stumbles over words with more than three syllables, but is fun to sit and read with her! The last lesson was simply a fourteen syllable word: supercalafragilisticexpialidocious! As a treat, we read it together, and then enjoyed watching the scene from Mary Poppins where Burt and Mary sing that silly song! It was a celebratory sort of break in our day.

A lot is up on the air as far as our plans for next year. We have the opportunity to join a new classical co-op, and aren't sure how that will change curriculum and our daily load... I'd like to have things well sorted out before our little blessing arrives, so that when we start up in the fall I can just "open and go." We'll see! :)

And.... this week, counting gifts and miracles.... we saw a double rainbow, brilliant in a patch of blue sky on a rainy afternoon. We rode our bikes past a huge moose munching willows in the creek. We jumped in puddles and picked up worms. We tried on two garbage bags full of perfect-condition new clothes. We found used bunk-beds for a reasonable price. I listened to three kids sing "Christ in risen from the grave!" in perfect unison and sweet lisps. Raina slept in undies for all of her naps.... and so much more!

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