Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekly Highlights ~ Cultivating Friendships, Cursive, Why Bother?, Awana and Our First Day of Co-op

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Cultivating Friendships:

Our week began with preparing a package for fourteen year old Mesfin, who lives in Ethiopia. We are correspondent sponsors for him through Compassion International. Each little one drew Mesfin a picture. Caraline thought of things a fourteen year old might like. She drew a boy on drums, a guitar a soccer ball and other "boyish" things. Ryan drew the Himalayan Mountains with a fish in the sky, and Jonathan drew Mesfin a big water color page of worms. He thought Mesfin might like worms since he loves them so. We marked our home on the US Map and both of our homes on the World Map for Mesfin to keep. We wrote lots of messages to Mesfin: on the back of the maps, on the back of the pictures of our family, and on the back of the drawings. We included a few stickers, too. Oh, and a die-cut long neck dinosaur, per Ryan.

Mesfin's birthday was in June, we didn't know him then. We sent in a singing birthday card, too. The folks at Compassion say the musical cards are such a big hit. Everyone enjoys dancing to the music! This one sings "I'm Walking on Sunshine."

Blog Month 2013 is happening now for Compassion International. We are hoping to release over 3,000 children from poverty. If you've ever thought about sponsoring a child now is a wonderful time to do so. You can make a huge difference in a child's life. I love what being a sponsor is teaching our kids, things like compassion and having a deep love for others. For Compassion, I wrote about what I would say to my younger self this week, advice I want to pass on to my sponsored children and my own children.

And Caraline wrote a letter and drew cute little pictures of our doggies for her new friends that live in the UK. We also bought the girls a "We Miss You" card. Caraline and the boys signed the inside.

We met Ashleigh and Jazmine in Nashville at our hotel pool. The two girls and my three little ones became the best of friends over the three and a half hours they played together at the pool.

In Our Homeschool:

I've heard many people say that cursive isn't being taught in public schools anymore. I think that is a shame. How in the world will our next generation be able to read original documents, like the Declaration of Independence? What about Grandma's birthday cards? The list goes on and on... Plus, the research into how writing in cursive wakes up neural pathways is amazing. I just don't see how letting cursive slip away is beneficial to anyone.

Caraline has been working feverishly to complete her cursive handwriting books! She is working in two separate curricula (because she loves both) and completed one of them this week! She basically completed one full weeks worth of lessons each day for the past 32 days - she even colored the Scripture Boarder Sheets, too! She had a goal and she kept to it! She enjoys handwriting, but wanted to be able to cross something off of the list of  "things to do each day." Below is what she completed.  We ordered ours from

785411: A Reason For Handwriting: Cursive C--Student Worktext, Grade 3 A Reason For Handwriting: Cursive C--Student Worktext, Grade 3

Each week you'll practice letters and groups of letters from a different Scripture verse. Then you'll write the entire verse on practice paper. At the end of each week, you'll pick a Scripture Border Sheet from the back of your workbook, write the verse in your best handwriting, and use your creative talents to color or decorate it. You can share God's Word by giving people your finished Scripture Border Sheets.
The other curriculum she is using is a review item from a few months ago, Prescripts from Classical Conversations. She has only about thirty pages of the one hundred forty-five left!

Audio Books:

In the car, we are listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We listened to The Magician's Nephew a couple of months ago (We LOVED it!) and I've been meaning to get started back on this series.

We took a little break from Pinocchio while on vacation last week, but we listened to another couple of chapters from a free LibriVox app on my iPhone.

Read Alouds:

We are about a quarter of the way through a missionary biography  of Cameron Townsend from the Christian Heroes Then and Now series. It is so good. The kids are especially loving that most of the story so far has been set in Guatemala, where our Spanish teacher, Senora Rosa lives. (We have lessons over Skype each week!)

And we  read the first thirteen pages in The Story of the World: Ancient Times this week, too.


 All three little ones are loving their Awana handbooks and memorizing scripture for class each week. I'm enjoying being a Sparks leader, too. My favorite part has to be helping the children, that aren't prepared to say their verses, practice them before being checked off. It's a blessing to work with those little ones. I also love watching the kids play during game time. The game leaders make it so much fun!

Caraline working on her Awana handbook
The Blog:

 We reviewed PeopleKeys, Children's Profile this week. It's a great introduction to psychology and to understanding personality styles.

Caraline filing out her personality test
Pool Time

We had the neighborhood pool to ourselves, for the quick forty-five minutes we were there this week.

September 11

My husband was in NY for a few days this week and actually flew home on Sept. 11. That day the kids and I watched a few "kid friendly" videos about 9/11, and we had some pretty deep discussions. It was so good to have Daddy home that night.


And we had our first day of co-op! It was a fun and busy day. I am teaching the three year old class this semester. Our focus on this first day was bees. We pretended to be bees as we buzzed around to Flight of the Bumblebee and looked at a bumblebee painting, both from Can You Hear It? (a gift from a special friend). We performed a bee related finger play over and over and read through most of The Story of Ferdinand (do you remember the bee in this story?!) before I had to start paraphrasing. It's a long picture book for thirteen young three year olds! We also colored a cute little bee picture while listening to more classical music. Plus, we played on the playground during my class hour. I came home wiped out. 

Caraline has a history class that makes 3-D maps each week and a crocheting class. Ryan has a human body class and a PE class, and Jonathan has a science experiments class and a PE class, too. There are 89 families with a total of 209 kids enrolled in our co-op, all sixth grade and under. It's such a joy to be a part of such a wonderful group of folks. Are you part of a homeschool group?

I think that's the major highlights from our week. It's Friday afternoon, It's beautiful outside. And even though my house is a disaster, (as usual, *sigh*) I'm going to quietly go out the backdoor, slip into the hammock, and savor these moments of listening to my little ones play.


We are linking our Weekly Highlights with our friends at Homegrown Learners' Collage Friday and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up   and The Homeschool Mother's Journal.
Homegrown Learners.
HMJ Logo Landscape 500x337


  1. Hope, you know I am a big proponent of cursive! Both of my kids know how to write in cursive and I think it's so important! Bravo to Caraline. (Have her write me a letter -- I will write back!) :-)

    I'm so happy you link with Collage Friday!

    1. Absolutely! I just don't understand how it can be cut. Caraline will love writing to you! What a sweet idea. =) Thank you! And thanks for hosting Collage Friday. It's fun!

  2. I totally think kids need to learn cursive. We'll be doing it next year for sure!!! I also slipped outside this afternoon to watch the kids play - its so relaxing!!! As for the co-op I'm part of a homeschool group that did a field trip this week but no co-op. I'm contemplating joining one for winter but we just moved so I want to feel more settled;) Happy Weekend!!! Jen @ Home Is Where They Send Us

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you agree! I can't imagine the English written language without cursive!

      Not overextending yourself is a great thing. Co-op can always wait! Congratulations on your new move, too!

      I hopped over to your blog and couldn't figure out how to leave a comment. Anyway, I loved reading about your week, the chocolate chip muffins, FINDING your book at the library, all the fun activities with Sonlight and CC, too!

  3. I echo the need for cursive writing. My oldest is just starting to learn. She calls it fancy writing haha.

    1. Love it! It IS fancy writing. =) Thanks for stopping by Emmalee. (love the way your name is spelled!)

  4. Yep .. cursive handwriting is being learned in our house! In fact, we are just finishing up the first cursive book in Handwriting Without Tears and will be moving onto the second. My 8 year old finds herself accidentally writing in cursive instead of manuscript now. It's so much easier to write!

    1. Nicole, I think so, too! I write much easier and faster in cursive! My daughter is just now making the transition to all cursive in her schoolwork.

      I am so glad you've stopped by! Thank you!

  5. Looks like a great week! It's been so long since we read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe that my youngest probably wasn't even born yet and my middle was a toddler. We should read that again!

    I agree with you on the cursive thing.

    1. I love the Narnia series! I can't believe I missed out on it as a kid!

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Amber!


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