Expressions from our Youngest

Expressions from our Youngest
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Homeschool Week

It is time for A Homeschool Mother's Journal.

In My Life this Week...It has been a productive two weeks since my last weekly wrap up of homeschooling.  We were able to attend back-to-school night and meet all my daughter's teachers.  My son's religion class began and the first class went very well.  We also held two NOL co-op classes for journal writing that were successful.  Patrick also started Tiger Cubs.

In My Homeschool Week...

Religion - Faith and Life Series, Chapter 4 on "God's Special Gifts" and Chapter 5 on "Adam and Eve" with 8 workbook pages.  We are also continuing  with our daily devotions; Joyful, Sorrowful, Luminous, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and 1 decade, and Pledge of Allegiance every day.  Our first religion class was on God's Creation.

Math - Subtraction, Addition, and Telling Time, and Counting Money

NOL Journals/English - Read books "Unexpected Treasures" by Victoria Osteen and Aesop's Fable:  "The Travelers and the Plane Tree" for our journal writing class.  We completed paragraphs and a craft for both books while learning twelve important character traits and two bible verses.  For English we discussed and completed an assignment on the four types of sentences:  declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory.

Reading - Story Time Treasures workbook pages after we read Little Bear's Wish together (Chapter 1)

History - The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer:  Finished test on Egyptians live on the Nile River; Read Chapter 3 - The Earliest Writings and Chapter 4 on mummies and pyramids.  Here are pictures of our Nile River we flooded and the Cunieform writing of the Sumerians.

Science - Harcourt Science:  Finished unit on animals.  We made up a song regarding mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.  We read How People Grow and Change; What Bones and Muscles do; How the Heart and Lungs work.  Here is a picture of our model of how muscles and bones work together.  The balloon acts like a muscle when one bends the paper towel tubes.

Music Class

I'm inspired by...MeetUp website for the co-op classes:

My favorite thing this week...Our homeschool co-op.  We have a new student and the boys all seem to get along great.  It is so much fun teaching them.

Things I'm Working on...We've been cleaning because we are getting our house appraised soon.

Questions/Thoughts I have...Have you been spending time in prayer?  Our country needs this.

I'm Reading..."Behind the Lodge Door" by Paul A. Fisher and "Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis

I'm Cooking....Salmon and rice

I'm grateful for...our Church.

I'm praying for...our country.

A picture to share...My son playing with the world beach ball.  We learn about the world with this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Homeschool Week

It is time to record our week in homeschooling at The Homeschool Mother's Journal.

In My Life this Week...It has been a busy week because my husband traveled to California for the wedding of the son of our cousin.  Therefore, I had a bit more carpooling.  I could have gone with him but chose to stay home because it is the start of the school year and my arthritis is acting up.

It is a good thing because I've been able to take it easy on the weekend.  Meals have consisted of salads, pizza, fried chicken, and mac and cheese.  There were no scheduled commitments and we ate when we were hungry and got a little shopping done at a mall (which is rare). My daughter invited her good friend to go shopping with her.

In My Homeschool Week...

Religion - Faith and Life Series, Chapter 3 on "God is Everywhere" and 4 workbook pages, daily devotions with Mysteries of the Rosary and 1 decade, and Pledge of Allegiance every day.

Math - Subtraction, Addition, and Telling Time

NOL Journals/English - Read book "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" by William Steig and verbally recorded sentences for our paragraph.  We marked our Subject Nouns, Verbs, and Enhancers.  We also had our first homeschool co-op.  We read "Jesus, the Good Shepherd" did a craft with sheep, and wrote our first sentence for paragraphs.

Reading - Story Time Treasures workbook pages after we read Little Bear together - Chapter 3:  Little Bear Goes to the Moon

History - The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer:  Chapter 2 - Egypt  Farmers along the Nile, Created our Nile River Project, narration, map work, and coloring page of Osiris and his brother Set

Science - Harcourt Science:  Chapter 2 - Animals Grow and Change:  Animals w/ bones - mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish; and Animals w/o bones - insects; Life Cycles of Birds and Cats; Measured and recorded pictures of large and small bird eggs; Classification of animals that Have Fur, Can Fly, Live in Water, and Have Scales; Observed specific body parts of animals and how they help survival.

Geography - Map Skills:  Using Four Main Directions

Music Class - Missed music class.  Arthritis acting up.

I'm inspired by...MeetUp website:  It is fun to post messages about our co-op.  I'm also inspired by my daughter.  She is keeping in touch with a good friend that left her school and is now going to another school.

My favorite thing this week...Our homeschool co-op.  We have a new student and the boys all seem to get along great.  It is so much fun teaching them and seeing the other moms.  They really enjoyed playing the game I created.

Things I'm Working on...I have to develop a plan for my son's first grade religion.  I will be calling the director of religious education to arrange a time I can pick up the syllabus because I have to go to Back-to-School-Night and meet my daughters' teachers.

Questions/Thoughts I have...Have you ever enjoyed the peace and quiet while your hubby is away.  I'm grateful for all he does but's nice to have a break.  He bought me an inexpensive airline ticket to go to the wedding but is unable to transfer it over to his name.  Therefore, he said to me, "You can fly somewhere and just come right back."  Isn't he sweet!

I'm Reading..."Behind the Lodge Door" by Paul A. Fisher and "Founding Brothers" by Joseph J. Ellis

I'm Cooking....Nothing at all!

I'm grateful for...all the teacher's we are going to meet on Back-to-School Night.

I'm praying friend's sister who was in a horrible bike accident.

A picture to share...University of Maryland Tailgaiting

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Eileen is Grateful

It's time (a little late again) for A Thankful Woman's Book of Blessings.  Just click on the link and list five things you are thankful for this week.

1)  I am so grateful for the Mass for families at my two daughter's high school.  The power was out and nobody even cared.  We walked through dark hallways to find the celebration afterwards in the cafeteria.  All the families and teachers are Orthodox Catholics and adhere to honorable work ethics.  It is hard to find good schools and I am so thankful for being part of this school.

2)  I am thankful for the warm ups I have because I can just through them on for the cool morning ride into school.  They are so comfy and cozy.

3)  I am grateful for the HOV lane.  Once we are in it, we say the mysteries for the day and one decade of the rosary.

4)  I am thankful for the big couch we have in our family room.  My arthritis has been acting up and it has been a great comfort to rest and snuggle there with Patrick in the evenings.

5)  I am grateful for all the families in the homeschool co-op.  We had our first class today and it went very well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential

7 Tools Book Club

I've really been enjoying everyone's posts on "Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential" by Zan Tyler.  I thought I would take this opportunity to jot down a few points I've gathered from Chapter Seven:  Providing Stimulating Academics.  Zan very cleverly ties the provision of stimulating academics into actual engaged time in the learning process.  It was pointed out that a typical day in any school consists of a very limited amount of time devoted for actual engagement.  (Our family has been blessed to find superb private high schools.)

Check out some of these teacher complaints:

Engaged time comes in many forms.  Webster has various meanings for "engage" with these that may portray best those involved with education:  "1) to bind (as oneself) to do something; 2) to provide occupation for: involve; 3) to arrange to obtain the use or services of: hire; 4) to hold the attention of:  engross; 5) to induce to participate."  The older child achieves a more disciplined, independent, and controlled engagement with their environments while a younger child needs more verbal one-on-one engagement.  I have found that the more I've verbalized with my younger children...the more successful they become in their teen/adult years.  This is one reason I love to talk about stories with my younger children.  Sometimes I even wonder if it matters at all what books they have as long as mom is talking to them. (I know curriculum to fit your child is important too-just trying to stress the importance and priority of communicating to your child.)

Younger children are prone to incorporate into their own characters everything they see and hear.  It is a highly sensitive engagement with their world because they are at a developmental age where everything seems to influence them...acting like sponges that take in everything.  Images, mannerisms, values, statements, ideas, virtues, vices all easily seep into their porous minds and hearts.  They may even tone out important information being passed on to them if they are left to their own devices too much.  It is a mother who sees these ques and corrects them.  This is why it is so important to avoid prolonged awkward, active, and excessively busy engagement (with the wrong people) that can be detrimental to their development.  It appears that this may happen with kids in many schools.  (Keep t.v.'s and computers at a minimum).  I believe silence is golden for the learning process...the time when God speaks to our hearts.

It is the older child that masters the task of deciphering through extra 'business' and adhering to schedules independently to achieve a successful engagement with their world.  Young children have not fully developed the God-given inspired internal mechanisms that an older child has developed through the formation of their sound Christian foundations.  Younger children are more easily influenced by externals while older children have an internal capacity to independently withstand more pressure and take on more challenges.  Older children have the ability from their earlier preparations with mom to master more stringent academics and schedules.

Note the specific items referred to in this chapter that may involve personal presence and/or dialogue.  I made a list and added a few of my own:

1)  personal presence (by example vs. exhortation)
2)  close companionship
3)  gains in family life/unity (result of engagement)
4)  interaction (sibling and parental)
5)  dialogue/communication/language interaction
6)  emotional environment
7)  involvement and enjoyment
8)  good character/traits
9)  connect learning to life
10)  exterminate popular vices (fads)
11)  mentoring
12)  listening skills
13)  safety
14)  resources
15)  curriculum counseling
16)  extracurricular activities/athletic involvement
17)  outside interaction with friends/evangelizing
18)  preparation time/planning
19)  knowledge/love of child in context of family background enhances engagement
20)  employs tutorial method
21)  outside help/classes/field trips
22)  time
23)  dynamics (interactions and energy/earlier chapters)
24)  scholarship and constructive criticism (did not seem to be promoted)
25)  political involvement
26)  cleanliness/sanitary

One statement Zan made that I really wanted to highlight is:  "No one rivals the tenacity of a mother when it comes to caring for her children." (p. 155)

God has given virtuous mothers a remarkable capability to bring true wisdom, which is knowledge of the world in relation to God, to her children.  "The damage to the American family that is most resistant to remedy derives from the separation of parents and kids" (p. 158) for a prolonged period while they are still in an extremely needy stage of development.  Therefore, give your young children a love for learning.  Capture moments with them that are priceless to prepare them to engage their world with skill, tact, and finesse.  A large part of this comes from the balancing of our Christian principles to be applied to the various situations we encounter.

I would highly recommend this book to homeschool mothers.  It is exceptional.  If you would like to see what others are saying, visit the book discussion on Amanda Pelser's blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sabbath Moments

I'm participating in Sabbath Moments this Saturday - September 8th - The Blessed Mother's birthday.

1)  My hubby and I took a walk and talked to some neighbors along the way.  Afterwards, we had a big discussion on our back deck.  I think I was falling in love with him again as I witnessed how he was caring for our family by choosing wise financial decisions.  There was a cool breeze coming through so there were no mosquitoes and it was such an enjoyable and peaceful evening together.  We were sipping our adult drinks while we were discussing our plans together.

2)  My two daughters played so well with my six year old son today.  The house was filled with giggling and laughter.  It was so heart warming to hear and see.

3)  It was a Sabbath Moment bringing my son to a local playground earlier today.  We played hide and seek together.  It was a shame when we had to put up with a crowd of people coming to rope off the parking lot for their sporting event and play loud rap music.  We still had fun though but the duration was cut shorter than it would have been.  I'm going to call the recreation center on Monday to see why they allow this.  It is a public playground for young children.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Homeschool Week

In My Life this Week...It has been a more relaxing week for me because I did not have to pick my girls up from school this week.  It is a joy to see the work the girls are doing and how well they are getting along with teachers and peers.  Their relationship seems to have blossomed since the start up of this school year...always laughing and talking about friends and/or teachers.  This relationship, I believe, is so strong due to their earlier years in our homeschooling ventures.  After driving them to school and arriving home, I love how Patrick and I immediately turn to prayer and our work.  I keep away from the computer and t.v. all morning long to have peace and quiet during our homeschooling time together.  It is a routine I greatly look forward to and Patrick is happy that his brothers and sisters are going to school.  The important point is that they are all continuing to learn about and strengthen their faith life.

In My Homeschool Week...

Religion - Faith and Life Series, Chapter 2 on Heaven and 4 workbook pages, daily devotions with Mysteries of the Rosary and 1 decade, and Pledge of Allegiance every day, four bible verses.  Patrick remembers the one from Isaiah best where we talked about Passover and the Angel of Death causing the differences that occurred between the Israelites and Egyptians.

Math - Subtraction, Telling Time

NOL Journals - Read book and wrote Journal Entries for "Millie Waits for the Mail" by Alexander Steffensmeier.  I absolutely loved this book because you can see a difference in the characters from the pictures when Millie had a bad attitude and when she had a good attitude.  We wrote and ordered our sentences on index cards, chose our key words and looked them up in the bible, marked our parts of speech on the index cards, and wrote the paragraph in the journal.  This weekend Patrick will have to draw and color his picture and review the bible verses with me as I record them in our log.

Reading - Story Time Treasures workbook pages after we read Little Bear together - Chapter 2:  Birthday Soup

History - The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer:  Chapter 1-The Earliest People - Patrick made a cave painting of a bison and people, narration and comprehension questions, worksheets of the fertile crescent and shabut, and took quiz.

Science - Harcourt Science:  Chapter 1 - Plants Grow and Change - Classified leaves; discussed living vs. non-living things; similarities and differences of plants; concept review on how plants grow and change; vocabulary review; list parts of the plant, describe what they look like, and what their function is; cause and effect through short story.

Geography/Science - We threw our world beach ball with animals around again and googled the Australian Death Adder Snake

Music Class - Learned about 7 songs and 5 notes

I'm inspired husband the way he digs and digs for financial information, laws, and regulations regarding his mother's estate and tuition for college.

My favorite thing this week...Our prayer time together and the way Patrick loved his new music class.  He is outgoing and friendly with peers.  He learned and sang the song 'Hot Cross Buns.'  The teacher asked, "What do you think a hot cross bun looks like?"  Patrick said, "A bun with the shape of Jesus' Cross on it."

Things I'm Working on...I have to develop a plan of what I am going to ask the children in the co-op class to trigger their creativity on writing their paragraphs about an adorable book on the Good Shepherd.

Questions/Thoughts I have...Do you have a complete menu for the week planned out ahead of time?  How do you plan in time to make various recipes.  I usually have basics like a roast w/ gravy to put in the crock pot served with potatoes or rice and green beans; cheeseburgers on the grill, fries and salad; salmon, rice, and beans; leftovers etc.  I made a breakfast keish this week that lasts for part of the week.  I have frozen lasagna but made that on the weekend.  I don't seem to have the time during weekdays to buckle down to make a big recipe for meals often.  How do you make time to be creative with your meals, especially on weekdays?

I'm Reading..."Behind the Lodge Door" by Paul A. Fisher

I'm Cooking....Fridays, Creamy Chicken Pasta Carbonara

I'm grateful for...a simple candy recipe I want to make to welcome our new neighbors.

I'm praying sons at college.

A Quote to Share..."And when augmented by wide-ranging reading from a number of works related to the Craft (most of which were suggested by New Age articles or editorial commentary), it is evident that international Freemasonry historically has been a revolutionary world-wide movement organized to advance Kabbalistic Gnosticism; to undermine and, if possible, to destroy Christianity; to infuse Masonic philosophy into key government structures; and to subvert any government which does not comport with Masonic principles.  All evidence points to the fact that most members of the Masonic Fraternity are largely ignorant of its sinister designs."  (Paul A. Fisher)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eileen is Grateful

It's a little late for A Thankful Woman's Blessings but I have the opportunity to participate today.  I love to record what I am thankful for in life.  If my blog was one thing, this is what I would want it to be - an ongoing list of what I'm thankful for during my weeks.  Judy does a wonderful job with this meme:  just click on the link to participate.

I hope you like my list this week.  My six year old son helped me make it.  As you can see, we are thinking of butterflies (have you ever seen this commercial?).  Anyway,  take a look at the first item on this list.  OH, WONDERS OF ENLIGHTENING REVELATIONS - this was the first item my son told me to list!

1)  Work

2)  Sunny weather that isn't too hot

3)  Playgrounds and icecream

4)  Kool Aid

5)  This one is mine:  My hubby helping with the carpooling

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Homeschool Week

The Homeschool Mother's Journal has moved but I do not know how to hook up with it.  I love this meme and want to record my homeschooling weeks.  Last week was a busy week because I had to drive and pick up my two daughters from private school.  Nevertheless, we did accomplish some things I want to keep a record of for memories.

In My Life this Week...It was a challenge to do all this driving while I had to homeschool Patrick.  You see him here beginning our day with the Pledge of Allegiance, a Devotion, and a decade of the Rosary.

My daughter, Claire had orientation on Monday.  Therefore, I stayed in Virginia and joined the Fairfax County Library since I will be continuing to bring my daughters to school in the morning this year.  I found some great books to use for Patrick's journals.  My older daughter was so good to work with Patrick at home while I took my middle schooler to orientation.

On Tuesday, I had a doctor's appointment in Bethesda and I packed Patrick's books and took the show on the road.  We found a nice spot in front of a tiny French restaurant to do our work.  It was a pleasant morning.  The libraries in Bethesda were duds.  We also had time to play on the playground at Westview Mall before my appointment.  It is so nice to see all the young parents with their children.  Then it was off to get the girls.

In My Homeschool Week...

Religion - We went over seven bible verses during the week.  Patrick knows that Peter is the 'Rock' the Church was built on by his office of the first Pope, we should not turn God's house into a market-place, we should use kind words, and one's real lasting treasure is within the heart!  We completed the first chapter in our Faith and Life Series about Our Heavenly Father.  During some of the mornings, we recited the Sorrowful and Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.

Math - Addition and Subtraction, Telling Time

NOL Journals - Wrote Journal Entries for "Henry Builds a Cabin" by D.B. Johnson and "Too Many Toys" by David Shannon, drew and colored pictures, verbally expressed and wrote paragraphs, chose keywords and went over bible verses, and marked sentences with parts of speech.

Reading - Story Time Treasures workbook pages after we read Little Bear together, Best Buy Books comprehension and sequencing, Phonics, and handwriting

History - Historians, Archaeologists, and made a Family Tree

Geography - Directions on the map and I have a great beach ball with a picture of the world on it and animals.  We threw it around and talked about it.  Patrick knows the four oceans and seven continents.  We also looked up Conger Eels.

I'm inspired two daughters.  It is so nice to see them growing and maturing and getting along with friendly teachers and peers.  Kristen, my oldest daughter, really impressed me this summer by volunteering at the hospital, being a Coach in Training (CIT) for swim team, and lifeguarding.  We are so proud of them.

My favorite thing this week...My college son had an interview and now has a great part time internship for engineering.  We are so proud of him too.

Things I'm Working on...I have to get some materials laminated for our homeschool co-op craft.

Questions/Thoughts I have...What in the world are they going to talk about at the Democratic convention?  Politics is not my favorite subject but it's important.

I'm Reading..."Behind the Lodge Door" by Paul A. Fisher

I'm Cooking...Chicken, rice, and beans and a breakfast meal that sits in the frig over night for breakfast during the week.

I'm grateful for...I found a great (but expensive) cupcake place.  I want to make my First Amendment cupcakes again sometime.

I'm praying for...our country!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Simple Woman

Today I'm participating in A Simple Woman's Daybook.  It is a great way to record and share thoughts and make plans for one's week.

1)  Outside my Window...It is overcast here in Maryland with a very light sprinkle of rain.  My hubby and I just went for a relaxing walk in our neighborhood before the rain came.

2)  I am Thinking...It will be nice when my daughter can stop life guarding and commit her time to her studies.  Today is her last day on the job for the summer.

3)  I am Thankful for...The Rosary that we say as family prayers every Sunday.

4)  From the Learning Rooms...I am planning to do my son's journal, Catholic National Reader, and Science - Plants Grow and Change / We'll classify leaves.

5)  From the Kitchen...We will be grilling hamburgers tonight for Labor Day holiday.

6)  I am Wearing...Comfy purple shorts and a grey t-shirt

7)  I am Creating...A craft project for our first co-op class.

8)  I am Going...To Engineering Graphics to get some things laminated

9)  I am Reading...Behind the Lodge Door, Church, State, and Freemasonry in America by Paul A. Fisher

10)  I am Hoping...that I can keep up the pace with driving my daughters to private school every morning and homeschooling my first grader.

11)  I am Wondering...If the arthritis pain will go away so that I can walk more to lose some weight.

12)  I am Hearing...Hubby type, kids play, and an airplane in the distance

13)  A few plans for the rest of the Week...Finally be able to buckle down and homeschool my son without having to run out in the afternoons.

14)  I am Pondering...if we will get another dog after ours just past away about a month ago.  The picture I'm sharing is our trip to a local pet shop. My son named this puppy "Jack."

15)  Pictures to Share...