Thursday, January 15, 2015

Not Sure How To Start This Thing Over So I'll Start With Books!!

I realize that I've not blogged in years.

I also realize that unintentionally my blog became a homeschool blog.

While I hope that the Letter's Of The Week posts are helpful and continue to encourage young homeschoolers, I do hope to move this blog forward. I have high hopes to update my profile and the photos and add tabs to separate categories with ease, but for now, if I don't just start, I never will. 

I get asked on the regular for book suggestions and I love that question! I have been posting the books I read onto Instagram for a the last few years and always have emails and text following the posts asking for more details on this book or that. As I prepped to post my latest reads onto Insto, I decided to write a mini-review for each book to help as people decided which books to read next. The more I wrote I realized that, in my social media opinion, this broke all the Insta-rules. SO MANY WORDS. SO MANY WORDS. INSTO IS FOR PICTURES. Just kidding...kinda. 

This led to me remembering that I do, in fact, have a blog AND that blogs are the social medium in which it is appropriate to write "long-mini-reviews." *wink*

So with out further ado... 

What I've Been Reading and My Thoughts For Those Who Care::

Tables In The Wilderness- by Preston Yancey - I read this book at the end of last year and I can not believe I never posted about it. Yancey's writing is honest and beautiful. I was raised with Liturgy, the Church Calendar & Creeds as the basis of my faith and in college landed in a church that had none of these practices so I found Yancey's story intriguing as it is the EXACT opposite of mine. This memoir is full of thought provoking insights and I highly recommend it!!

The Best Yes- by Lysa Terkeurst - This was my 1st read of 2015 and I am so glad it was. Lysa gives practical advice on how to approach decisions where both options seem great.  She shares stories about how to decide if you have enough time to say yes to obligations and gives some fantastic tools for the reader to take away. She coaches you and reminds you that "no" is not a bad word but in fact is a very healthy one. This is an easy, practical read.

The Pearl- by John Steinbeck - I feel like anytime you write a review for Steinbeck all you need to say is, "Steinbeck." As with most all Steinbeck works, this is a thoughtful parable that you can find yourself in most all the characters. This is a short book, clocking in under 100 pages, but is full of mystery, love & terror with little resolve. I mean, it definitely resolves, but not in your heart...for a long time at least.

Yes Please!- by Amy Poehler - This book is by Amy Poehler so it goes with out saying that well over 40% of the book is COMPLETELY inappropriate in every way (so much so that I am sorta embarrassed to be posting about it). BUT the other 60% is HILARIOUS and doubly insightful. I laughed so much. I love learning from and listening to friends with a totally different worldview than my own and that is how I felt as I read "Yes Please!". While I'd be very sheepish to recommended this book because of it's content, I did really enjoyed her balance of candor and privacy. If you choose to read this book and it is at all possible (and children are not in ear shot!! ) I recommend the audio of this book on Amy is actually the reader along with Seth Myers and they add A LOT to it as they banter back and forth. They are hilarious. 

Jesus Feminist- by Sarah Bessey - I didn't know what I would think about this book before I read it, so I tried to go in with an open mind. I was afraid, as the book had been accused of, that it would be another hate book toward patriarchal leadership. What I found was quite the opposite. Bessey, kindly shares her story of being raised in an egalitarian, Jesus loving home in Canada, her move to southern United States and the cultural differences that ensued. She makes a strong and equally humble case for the Bible's teaching on women, both in the home and in the church setting.  I never once sensed a harshness or manipulating tone, just her story and Biblical evidence on which she had landed. I was thrilled as I entered the back portion of her book. She lays out the upside down nature of Jesus's teaching on the Kingdom and her final chapters are filled with encouragement to all readers, egalitarian and complementarian alike.  

Girl At The End Of The World - by Elizabeth Esther -  Y'all. I am obsessed. I mean, not really but I am having a hard time not thinking about this book.  I found myself googling facts and being more disturbed by the seemingly true nature of it.  I read this book in 2 days. I was pretty much useless to my family due to lack of sleep but I just couldn't put it down. This is a memoir about a girl who was raised in a fundamentalist cult and her life's pursuit to get out of it. The author, who is telling her own story, lets you in on the mindset of a child who endures abuse in the name of God, love and sacrifice. I'm really going to need some of my friends to read this in the next day or two so we can talk about...okay? okay. Thanks!

Hope these reviews are helpful!!

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Z is for Zacchaeus, Zoo and Zebra

YAY!  We finished our first year of schooling two boys!  Embarking on this task made me so nervous, as schooling one was tough....the thought of adding a pre-schooler to the mix was a little scary.  But we made it!  Thanks for tagging a long as we went.  I hope you had as much fun schooling as we did!

Z was, like X, stretched out over several weeks because it is so nice out side. I let the boys play and enjoy the weather.

For our memory verse we did Luke 19:5, "Zacchaeus hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today." This is a well know Bible story but proved timely like many of our other verses this year!  The concept of this story is easy for our 3 year old to grasp and remember while it was a strong reminder and challenge for our 7 year old.  Our "God is Faithful. You can be" board said, "God is Faithful. You can be forgiven."  We talked about who Zacchaeus was, what others thought of him and how others treated him.  Then we compared that to how Jesus thought of him, and treated him.  We talked about in the same way, we are sinners and Jesus has every right to treat us poorly, but He treats us with forgiveness.

Z is for Zoo, of course.  So we went to the Zoo.

And while at the Zoo, we found a ZEBRA!

For our letter project we also made a Zebra.

We did a few other fun things that incorporated Z.

We worked on our writing and tracing and did LOTS of "math" (i.e pattern blocks)

I am sure we did more but that's all I have photographed :)

For those who are done with school :: Great Job!! You finsished!  For those who haven't :: KEEP IT UP! You are sooooo close!

I am going to be doing some "summer" school with both boy and hope to post some of that but otherwise, I am going to try to resume with normal, non-school blogging....but we will see, this has been fun!

Happy Schooling or Happy Summer!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Y is for Yellow, Yarn, Yelling, Yard & YUCK!

Well, as you may have guessed from the lag in my blog, we like to slow WAY down in the spring so that the boys can spend plenty of time outside. We only have 18 lessons left with Titus' Math & History curriculum and all of his other subjects we will easily finish up in the next two weeks. SO for Justus' Pre-School, I just try to have him busy sitting with us at the table while Titus is working on a few subjects then I let him enjoy the outside before its so blazing hot that he can't! So for the letter Y we spread it out over a couple of weeks. (hence the lack of blogging)

For our Y memory verse we worked on Psalm 139:1-2, "O Lord You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up. You understand my thoughts from far away." This is such a great verse, one I hope they hold in their hearts for as long as they live! I asked the boys how they felt about knowing God sees them, knows them and knows what they are going to do even before it is done. It was fun hearing their answers (well, Titus' answer I guess because Justus rarely has much to say).

For our "God is Faithful" board we did, "God is Faithful, You can be known." I obviously took this straight from the verse. We talked about how friends will come and go and they are a good thing, a gift from God, but only God will truly always know you. We talked about how God knows us even better than we know ourselves. This was a great conversation!

For our Pre-School Y week(s) we focused on the color Yellow and tried to incorperate it in as many ways as I could.

For math we used yellow foam sticks for counting. Then I made a simple number game out of them where I would say the number and he would have to pick out that stick then place them in number order in front of him. (this took maybe 1 minute to come up with and make...colored foam sticks are so useful and cheap to keep around!)

For writing we wrote with a Yellow marker in our Letter work books ::
and practiced writing our name on yellow paper::

For motor skills we stamped Ys on Yellow paper::
and glued Ys to yellow paper for our word list::

and we arranged yellow foam sticks into a Y and glued it on a paper::

And for FUN we got a Yellow ticket to ride a Yellow train::

For our Y letter project we glued Yarn on to a letter Y::

One morning after we had done a good deal of school and were about to leave for the gym, we did a Yelling contest! We thought of words we could yell that started with a Y. We ended up yelling, Yes! and Yay! Here is a funny picture of them yelling!

As I mentioned earlier, we stretched this unit out over a couple weeks so we could play out side and enjoy the amazing weather. This was conveniently Y week and we got to add Yard to our list of words that start with the letter Y. Here are some of the many, many things they did in the yard::
Lots of dirt, mud, soccer, water, bubbles, hunting and chasing animals and insects happened of the last few weeks!

Lastly, we went to a long awaited science exhibit at our local Science Museum called Grossology. It was full of all things gross. We went as our Y "field trip" for the word "YUCK!" and they actually did say, "YUCK!" alot! ha!

Other than that we did some painting and writing practice and I am sure a host of other things I did not get photographed and have escaped my memory! :)

Here is a final shot as I close out this Y unit blog.
This is what our kitchen table generally looks like on a school day. :)
Fun and crazy. (and notice the coffee) Hope you are enjoying schooling! I would love to hear what yall are up too this spring as you finish up the year with your kiddos!
Happy Schooling!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

X is for X-ray

X week was fun and relaxed. EVERYONE else we know was on Spring Break this week so we stopped school many times to meet up with friends or have people over. This is one of my favorite things about homeschooling! SO MUCH FLEXIBILITY! Especially if you are diligent to work ahead. I had originally planned to take Spring Break the same week as all our friends but we decided to go to Missouri a couple weeks ago instead. Taking some time off this week didn't put a big dent in Titus' curriculum goals but we will definitely not be done by Mid-April like we had hoped. It will be the beginning of May for Math and History but all the others he will be done by the end of April. As for Justus with Pre-School, I will probably move into some shapes/numbers weeks to help him while Titus finishes up but since Titus will be down to 2 subjects I won't need a lot of time filled for Justus.

For X week we did John 3:3, "Except a man be born again, he will not see the Kingdom of God." This was a fantastic verse to ask questions that lead back to the Gospel like, "what is the Kingdom of God?" "How can a man be born again?" Titus really dialoged well and asked some good questions himself. He remembered the story from John 3 about Nicodemous so I let him recount it to us before we read it from Scripture.

Our God is Faithful board said, "God is Faithful, You can have New Life." We just continued to ask questions and let Titus talk out what was in his heart and mind about being born again and about the Kingdom of God and about New Life. We would redirect when we needed too. It was GREAT conversations!

For Justus' Pre-School work we did X is for X-Ray. Vernon's mom was a long time X-Ray Tech in a hospital and is always talking to the boys about X-Rays. Knowing X was coming up, she kindly sent us an X-ray of her hands. It was a HUGE hit!
I had Justus hold it up to the light then pull it away from the light so he could see how it worked.
Then I had him say the body part that was in the picture and point at the bones and we talked about the bones in his hands.

So for his Letter project we made an X out of bones to look like and X-Ray::

I had super hoped to do an "X marks the spot!" activity but we never got around to it....maybe next year :)

We did some book work while Titus did his book work::

And of course :: Play-doh::

We also learned a lesson this week. Never go to the zoo on Spring Break week! We had a GREAT time with friends but the Zoo was PACKED!!! Whoa, y'all. PACKED.

Only a few more weeks of posting on the Letter of The Week. I can't believe I have stuck with this! ha! But I am so glad I have. I hope you have enjoyed it and got some ideas along the way!

Happy Schooling!