Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Weekly Highlights ~ Week 2 MFW: Creation to Greeks

July  21- 25, 2014

This week was not typical for us. One great thing that happened, my dad (He lives in another state.) stopped by to have lunch with us. Just before he got here, our garage door opener (that big machine that sits in the middle of the ceiling in the garage) broke, not so great. The chain fell off because of a bad bearing. So, after our lunch, he put a brand new system in while we assisted.  It was a wonderful hands-on lesson AND we got to spend extra time with him. (We ditched our afternoon book work.)

The broken one.
Also, Caraline participated in a five day, two hour volleyball camp at a local Christian school. That's in addition to the two hour Fundamentals of Volleyball class she already takes twice a week. Ryan still has his 2 days a week Football Fundamentals class, and Jonathan's Upward Soccer doesn't start for another month, thankfully. We wouldn't be able to participate in all these extras if it weren't for my husband helping with the chauffeuring. He's a great daddy.

Homeschool Expo
Plus, on Friday, Caraline and I attended the Southeast Homeschool Expo for a few hours.(The boys stayed with Daddy.)  We picked up a few fun things to use this year and ordered the Timeline History Cards from Classical Conversations. They are so pretty! And we saw many of our friends!

The goodies we bought while we perused the Expo.
Our main goal at the Expo was to get a good idea about what we'd like to use for our main curriculum next year. My Father's World was not there! But, we did get to see another great looking curriculum called Biblioplan. Since seeing Biblioplan, I'm now unsure as to what we might use for our spine after we finish Creation to Greeks. Will we stick to MFW and continue with Rome to the Reformation or make a leap to Biblioplan? I will say we are thoroughly enjoying CtG. Everyone looks forward to what we call our together time or CtG. It works and it's FUN! It would honestly be hard to switch from MFW.

Peek into our week with MFW: CtG
Since we didn't do much school on Friday and took an afternoon off, we have a couple of hours worth of lessons to finish for week 2, mainly science, measuring the length of the ark (437 feet!), and finishing our final copies of The Fall summary. We might try to complete everything this weekend for homework if it's rainy, or just start where we left off on Monday and double up a little bit to finish Week 3 on schedule. 

  • We read about Adam and Eve, The Fall, Cain and Abel and Noah and The Flood from the Bible. All three wrote a paper highlighting the key points of the Fall, as suggested by MFW. Jonathan and Ryan narrated their summaries to me, and I wrote them down. Ryan was going to write his final draft himself but as he started, the table shook when someone else was erasing and it made his hand unsteady. As he erased his misshapen letter, his pretty note booking page smudged and got a little messed up. Now, Ryan prides himself on his beautiful manuscript penmanship. So this sent big tears down his sweet little face. His heart was broken to pieces that his paper was ruined. We took a break for a while and I told him that if he read the words to me, told me how to spell the big ones, and where to put the punctuation, I would be his scribe for his final copy. He would just have to sign his name. This allowed us to continue on with a happy heart. Since this was NOT a handwriting exercise, it was a creative writing and grammar exercise this was FINE by me!

  • I want to take take time to write a genealogy with ages and special skills as we find them. As the Greenleaf guide suggests, it's a good to help see the early history of man. It also shows how far into history first hand accounts of Creation could have been passed down by Adam himself. Plus, the connection of the Flood and the timing of Methuselah's death is an aha moment. (There are lots of those.) I want the little ones to see all of the connections. So I plan to work on this with them next week.
  • We read a Creation myth from Egypt called The Star-Bearer and contrasted the differences and similarities with what we believe.
  • We also learned how  the Jewish calendar differs from ours and how that relates to their feasts. We watched a couple of Youtube videos to help visualize the differences.
  • We began our Music Appreciation lessons on Vivaldi by listening to the CD's recommended by MFW and began reading Introducing Vivaldi.
  • It was fun learning the Greek word for lizard, sauros, and lots of derivatives for it this week. Our favorite might be allosaurus. English from the Roots Up defines it as allos - leap and saurus - lizard. So allosaurus means leaping lizard. They brought to our attention that this must be Shirley Temple's favorite dinosaur in Annie since she says "leaping lizards" a lot. We all had to laugh at that one!


Math
I promised last week I would share other things we are using. So here's a couple. Saxon Math is what I use for all three. I love the hands on aspect in the younger years, the spiral approach, and as a longtime public school teacher I know and respect calls it "the common sense approach to math... that works." I know Saxon produces good mathematicians, and I plan to stick with it through high school.



Handwriting
Ryan is learning cursive this year. We've been using A Reason for Handwriting for a couple of years now. I like the Zaner-Bolser cursive and that they use Bible verses as their copy work. Jonathan is working in Book A manuscript, Ryan in Book C and Caraline in Book E.
Ryan's first attempt at cursive Ff. He is doing so good!
 This is what Caraline's final copy work looks like for a 5th grade lesson.

Creative Writing
For more detailed instruction, I chose Institute for Excellence in Writing. The boys are working on Bible Heroes. The teacher's manual is an e-book download that I sent over to Office Depot for printing and binding.

This is what their first lesson was like. We learned about key word outlines and how to retell a story using only those notes. The next day we explored adjectives and nouns and completed another key word outline and both took turns retelling the story using it. They didn't whine or fuss. This is very promising!

Caraline is working on IEW's: Ancient History-Based Writing Lessons. The first lesson is all about descriptive adjectives and alliteration in poetry. She's been finding examples of alliteration all over the place now! She enjoys this!


This is Caraline's rough draft.
Life
We have a Boston Terrier puppy, Snoopy. He's seven months old. We gave him a bath this week and Caraline and the boys just had to sooth him to sleep afterwards. While Caraline rocked, the boys sang sweet lullabies. In my opinion, his is truly a wonderful beginning to parenting practice.
Caraline and her little papoose.
Hands on Science!
Ryan had his eye appointment this week. We went swimming afterwards with friends so we chose not to get his eyes dilated. Instead he got this cool picture taken. The bright circle is his optic nerve and the darker area to the right is his macula. The doc commented on his long eyelashes. You can see them on the bottom left and a few on the top right.
Comics
Years ago I bought an anniversary edition of Calvin and Hobbes for my husband.
It's neat to see comics, including Calvin and Hobbes, in The Fallacy Detective we bought at the Expo. My friend, Suzanne, mentioned that she used Calvin and Hobbes for reading lessons for her kids. Genius!


I just love this one!
So... that's our week in a nutshell.

I'm linking our week with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Weekly Wrap-Up

(This post contains affiliate links to products we use. Please see our disclosure statement.)

~Hope

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's a New Year of Learning!

We are using My Father's World: Creation to the Greeks as our spine this year. This will be our first time officially studying ancient history for a full year, and I am so excited! We have a fifth grader, Caraline, a third grader, Ryan, and a first grader, Jonathan. (Jonathan is joining us in MFW: C to G. We are adding in his own phonics/reading/spelling and math program- one that I've used in the past with Caraline and Ryan. Since I already had those items, he's not doing MFW's 1st grade curriculum.)


 Leading up to our study, we took a family field trip - that means Daddy, too to the Carlos Museum in Atlanta. The Carlos is a great museum specializing in ancient artifacts from around the world. They even have Egyptian mummies! I wanted everyone to see what we will be studying first and as we study certain things as the weeks progress I can say, "Remember when we saw the .... at the Carlos?" and hopefully it will make history more alive and real for them.

We loved the museum so much we purchased a family membership (so we can visit a few times this year to see the permanent artifacts and the special Creation exhibits that will be on display) We also visited again just a week later with my sister and her little girl! (She lives in Florida and homeschools, too!)

This second time Jonathan got in on the audio tour action. He became really good at finding exhibits with an audio file number and punching it into his own little headset. He would stay in front of the exhibit and listen to the whole thing! The only exhibit he and Ryan didn't want to visit the second time around was the ancient Egyptian exhibit with the all the  mummies. They spooked the boys a bit the first time around, but they would NEVER admit it.
I admit this one is a little creepy.
The artistry is amazing!

While my sister, niece, and Caraline visited that portion of the museum the rest of us went to the book store. We found a great 3-D shapes/pop-up book on ancient Egypt and the same type on gladiators. We bought the shape book called The Gladiators, (it was on clearance) since I have a lot of ancient Egypt resources at home and zero on the Colosseum and gladiators. It is so cool because the pages are vibrant and shaped like the Colosseum. I'll have to post a picture of it later.

On to our first week:


We read all about the seven days of creation in Genesis and pulled in resources recommended by MFW, like Dinosaurs of Eden, which my kids LOVE and The Victor Journey through the Bible which is full of beautiful pictures and background information.  One thing we are adding in is The Mystery of History, Volume I. (I've linked to the first quarter of the book on Kindle and it's only $3.99!) We read the first lesson, and I just love how the author brings history and the Bible alive. I know this will be one of our favorite read alouds this year.

All three kids completed their first notebooking page from MFW and I absolutely had to laugh at the differences in a ten year old girl's depiction of creation - so loving and sweet. And then my eight year old boy's bloody battle scene. (We all believe in no bloodshed before the fall, but he told me he just had draw it that way - it was more fun, lol.)

I love the expression on Caraline's cheetah and how Adam and Eve are strategically placed!

For science we are using Dr. Jay Wile's Science in the Beginning as recommended in the newest MFW manual. I can't say enough good things about this curriculum. Our first two lessons have been great for all three ages! I love the meat of the lesson is only a page and a half long with a simple experiment to complement each. (It doesn't bore them since it's NOT long winded like some narration based science books can be.)

It is fabulous for hands on learners like my boys! Science in the Beginning takes the days of creation one by one for its lessons. So the premise is the same as Genesis for Kids,which is used in the older manuals. I do have Genesis for Kids,and we did read those pages, too but by far my favorite is Dr. Wile's.

Since we are learning about light and color, I am also reading aloud a Magic Schoolbus chapter book called Color Day Relay . So far it is really good! I bought the whole 20 book set used at our homeschool group's book sale earlier in the summer.

For foreign language and vocabulary building we are continuing our study of Latin using Prima Latina. (We use the DVD's!) This is a product we reviewed last year when we participated in The Old Schoolhouse's Review Crew. We are also using English from the Roots Up which is very good and used in MFW: C to G. I bought the flashcards, too. Even Jonathan can tell you what the Greek word biblos means in English and throw out a few derivatives! So we are learning Latin and Greek this year.

We are going to continue studying Spanish, too. We like Homeschool Spanish Academy and will probably start those Skype based lessons again in September.

This year we will learn more about and even pick a few Biblical feasts to celebrate in MFW: C to G. I've been wanting to learn more about this through a Christian perspective for a while now. I just love learning along side my little ones!

This week we learned about the Sabbath by my reading about it in Celebrating Biblical Feasts. And then we had a conversation about what I read.  We also read aloud from a recommended picture book, The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays. We like this book a lot. We didn't actually DO a Jewish Sabbath like the lesson plans suggested. I do hope to celebrate this feast with the little ones in the weeks to come.

I'll talk about some of our other subjects next week. For now, I'd like to share some moments captured in pictures from our first week back to school.

Our Week in Pictures:

A homeschool friend asked me to share a picture of our classroom on facebook. Here it is for you all, too.
Our classroom

Our outdoor classroom
The kids participated in an art camp one afternoon through our church. We carried a very sweet friend with us, too. She homeschools and lives right across the street!



We took a break one beautiful afternoon and picked peaches for the very first time.
We ended up with a full 1/2 bushel of yummy red globe peaches.

Two of the three had their very first eye exam. They rocked the dilation sunglasses. Ryan will have his next week.


The boys made megalodons one afternoon. They also made a super cool T-Rex out of poster board.


Isn't he awesome!

I appreciate you stoppingng by and reading our scrapbook of our week!

I am linking up with Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Blessings,
Hope

Weekly Wrap-Up

(This post does have affiliate links to products we use and love. please see our disclosure.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Day We Got a Second Chance to Live

Today is AFE (Amniotic Fluid Embolism) Awareness Day, and I'd like to help raise awareness by sharing my story.     

AFE is not a common occurrence. The survival rate is low. Many precious moms and babies loose their lives to AFE. Of the ones that do survive, many are often in comas and in ICU for weeks or even months. Then there are those like me who are off the ventilator and able to hold their baby in less than 24 hours.   

Not much is know about AFE, and there is a research project underway that I plan to participate in through the AFE Foundation. To learn more, please visit www.afesupport.org

Our Story: 

  March 20, is the first day of spring. A time when we are reminded of rebirth and new beginnings. This day, six years ago, was certainly a new beginning for our family, in a way we didn't expect. 

Jonathan's labor was a normal one. But something unexpected happened near the end. My uterus began a contraction and didn't stop. The placenta completely separated from the uterine wall (placental abruption). Jonathan, at that moment, was cut off from his oxygen supply from me. He was left with only what remained... I couldn't breath; I couldn't talk; I couldn't move. We believe at this time I also experienced an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). All of these things on their own, let alone all together, are extreme emergencies. 

 We were rushed into the OR for an emergency C-section. I was put completely under since I opted to not get an epidural or any pain meds during labor. This was truly a blessing, for all that happened next I didn't need to be awake. 

Jonathan was delivered with an APGAR of 1 out of 10. He had only a heart beat of less than 30. He was completely grey and limp. He had to be resuscitated. His odds of surviving weren't good. I'll never forget the nurse saying afterwards that they were all praying out loud for Jonathan. And after several minutes he took his first breath. His blood gases revealed that he was only 1/100th of a point away from having brain damage. 

While in the OR, I began bleeding out. It's called DIC. In nursing school the abbreviation for Disseminated Intravascualar Coagulation stands for "Death is Coming." My blood pressure dropped and remained extremely low for hours. They were constantly palpating for pulses to make sure I was perfusing. My family was told I might not make it. There were no platelets in the hospital. I needed one more operation, that might save me - but it couldn't be done until platelets arrived. 

I received over 17 units of blood and blood products. My family and the or team prayed over me. The surgery stopped the bleeding and nine hours after giving birth, 8 of which were spent in the OR, I awoke on the ventilator. 

Marty told me all that had happened as soon as I woke up, but I couldn't ask questions b/c of the vent. I remember doing the sign for baby and was told I couldn't see him yet, but that they'd make a picture of him and bring that to me. I remained on the vent for nine more hours and was weaned off. Seventeen hours later, I got to hold my little one for the first time, but I had no strength.
                  
The first time I held Jonathan
    I fought hard to nurse Jonathan. For the first three weeks there was NO milk. I didn't give  up. After three years, I had to make him stop! 

  It took a full year to regain my strength. My short term memory and concentration was terrible. And I still struggle to find the right words at times. I worried I wouldn't be able to homeschool my children. My OB told me the best thing I could do is homeschool. He said it would be not only good for the kids, but excellent for me, too. 
 
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I prayed. My family prayed. Our friends prayed.

I am so grateful to be healed, to have a perfectly healthy son, and that we are both alive.

Our family changed. My husband no longer takes jobs where he travels constantly. Being together is what's important. He has sacrificed executive positions to be home. I know that's been hard on him, but he'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Taking a deep breath and being with family is not taken for granted. I hope to never take one day for granted - for every single breath is a gift. And I hope to always live my life in a way that honors the giver of life, Jesus. And that no matter what struggles or hardships we face - because there will be more, we always find our hope in Him.