Saturday, July 28, 2012

Classes My Kids Are Taking This Year

Do you want to see what classes my kids will take this school year? you want to see the plans I made for their classes?  Some of the classes may change.  I'm still trying to squeeze in Latin...

Luke- 11th grade
Josh- 9th grade
Caroline- 7th grade
Jesse- 5th grade
Sophia- 3rd grade
Levi- 3 year old learning at all levels

Sophia- 3rd Grade
Writing- Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)
Spelling- Spelling Workout
Grammar- First Language Lessons
Cursive- Handwriting Without Tears
Science- Apologia Sea (with note-booking  journal)
Math- Math-U-See Gamma
History- Tapestry of Grace Year 3 (lower grammar)
Literature- Tapestry of Grace (TOG)
Bible- Tapestry of Grace Worldview
PE:  Gymnastic Team
Art- with a private tutor

Jesse- 5th Grade
Cursive- Handwriting Without Tears
Writing- Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) SWICC-A
Science- Finish Rod and Staff Year 4
Spelling- IEW
Literature- Tapestry of Grace Year 3  (upper grammar)
Math- finish Teaching Textbooks 6
History- TOG Year 3
Bible- Tapestry of Grace Worldview
Art with a private tutor
PE:  Soccer, baseball

Caroline-7th Grade
Writing Institute for Excellence in Writing SWI CC A
Science- Apologia  Gen Science using schedule from Sonlight
Math- Math-U-See  Pre- Algebra
History – Tapestry of Grace Year 3 -Dialectic
Literature- TOG Year 3 -Dialectic
Spelling- IEW
Grammar- Analytical Grammar (AG)
Bible- Tapestry of Grace Worldview
Logic- Fallacy detective
PE:  Club Soccer

Josh- 9th Grade
Math- Algebra 2 or Geometry with Teaching Textbooks
Science- Apologia Biology using DIVE (CLEP)
History- TOG Year 3 Rhetoric (US History CLEP)
Literature- TOG Year 3 online
Writing- IEW, The Elegant Essay
Grammar- AG
Spanish- Oklahoma State University  
Bible- Tapestry of Grace Worldview
Logic- Fallacy detective
Government-  TOG and IGovern (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), 0.5 Credit
(PSAT) memoria press class?
PE:   soccer, baseball, hunting

Luke- 11th Grade
1) Math- Pre-calculus Teaching Textbooks (co-op)
2) Science- Apologia Chemistry (co-op)
3) History- TOG Year 3 Rhetoric (US History CLEP)
4) English
Literature- TOG Year 3 online
            Writing-  IEW The Elegant Essay and  Regent University Dual Credit course
            Grammar- AG reinforcements
5) German- Oklahoma State University 
6) Government-  TOG and IGovern (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), 0.5 credit
7) Bible
8) Choir
9) PE:  Club Soccer, baseball

Key to abbreviations:
IEW – Institute for Excellence in Writing
TOG- Tapestry of Grace
TT- Teaching Textbooks
MUS- Math-U-See
AG- Analytical Grammar
PE- Physical Education

NOTE:  After posting this, I changed my plans a little...and I'm very excited about the changes.  You can see what I did at "I lightened my load."

Is it helpful to see what others are doing in their school? 

Would you like to see my daily schedule on Word showing when I work with each child?

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I shared this post on the above link-up.  Check it out for more posts on what others are using for school this year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Another blogger's post gave me an epiphany

Smiling with joy, almost laughing, I abruptly paused as I read Kendra's blog post on keeping preschoolers busy while homeschooling older kids .  I didn't even get to the part where she gives suggestions on how to keep them busy.  I paused and started writing this so I wouldn't forget my epiphany

I read this and stopped:
"Have you thought about including your littlest one in some of your teaching time? We have always had some sort of group teaching hour, and little ones love to know they are a part of what the rest of the family is doing."

Earlier today I shared with some of my blogging buddies my feeling of not wanting to start school this year.  Each year I have that feeling, but this year is different for some reason.

Every school year, except last year, I was pregnant and/or nursing

Last year I homeschooled 5 of my 6 children and my youngest turned 3 in the middle of the school year.  In case you don't have a child that age, it's the age of, "Mom.  Mom.  Mom." 

Mom, "What?!"

Three year old, "Hi."

Yes.  That age.

But, back to why I stopped abruptly while reading Kendra's post.  I've been thinking these past few days/weeks of the reason(s) why I am homeschooling.   It's not about academics.  Epiphany:  It's about guiding the kids to determine God's calling in their lives and helping them to achieve that calling.  

If it were just about academics, that would be easy.  Really.  I have a master's degree in Nursing as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.  I've taught nursing in the Army.  K-12 academics;  not that hard.  Homeschooling with a preschooler (BOY)- hard!

So, Kendra's note above made me think of this past school year.  Each morning we had a Bible class with all of the kids.  All.  Even the 2 yo who turned 3 in the middle of the year.  During the year, he would sporadically ask questions like, "Is it time for Bible?"  Or, we would be discussing something outside of Bible class and he would say, "We learned that in Bible class."  Did your mouth just drop like mine did every time?  Oh, and when he said that, it was something we learned about in Bible class! 

Eventually, I hope to get back to Kendra's   post and read her ideas about how to keep preschoolers busy while teaching older kids.  Or not.  Maybe I'm a little calloused about the possibility of that actually happening.  I mean the only trick I've found to be tried and true is...duct tape! 
{Kidding.  Really.}

How do you homeschool your older kids with preschoolers in the house? 

What do your preschoolers do while you are working with older kids?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Did she have to say that?!

It's right there on page 14 of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential, "As wives and mothers, our first mission field should be our homes."  Ugh.  Can I still get my nails done?!  Please?

Zan's right though.  But what does that look like for my family?  For your family?

If you are following the 7 Tools Book Club schedule, you know that this is the first week to share our thoughts on a blog post.   If this is the first time you've heard about this you can still join.  Click here to find out how to join.

The Pelsers 7 Tools Book Club

In the introduction, Jan wrote that she "had never considered the topic of biblical womanhood" when she was graduating from college.  I hadn't either.  Or, maybe I had, but the ideas I had were, um, in reality, not entirely biblical.

Jan wrote this book for people like me.  "My goal for this book is to give you encouragement and direction as you work hard to cultivate a rich harvest for God's glory in the lives of your children."  

Thanks Zan.

Some of my favorite lines from the book's introduction:
  • "Being a wife and a mother is a noble vocation."  That hit me in my red-white-and-blue, retired military officer gut.  I love 'noble'.  I'm in.
  • "I have encountered the Glory of God while carrying out the often mundane tasks of being a wife and mother."  Me too.  I mean, how you deliver a baby (or six) and NOT see God?!  Or relish in the absolute cuteness of a toddler, if even for a split second,  without seeing a Creator?
  • And, the reason I kept reading..."The goal of this book is simply that of Titus 2:4:  to encourage you to love your husband and your children, and to put some flesh on what that means."  Since I'm kinda literal...I need to see the flesh to understand some things.  Show me the flesh!

What are your ideas about biblical womanhood?  What does that look like for you?  Where did you get  those ideas?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

San Antonio Riverwalk on a Summer Day

We drove a few miles from our home to Alamo and Riverwalk to be tourists in our own town yesterday.  One of our exchange students was sick so she stayed home.  We just had to take "A" (our French student) to see the Alamo and take a requisite picture.

Somehow we ended up at the River Center Mall and then on the Riverwalk where we had some awesome nachos with tons of toppings at Zuni.

I Just had to take a maybe I can copy it at home.

Then some shopping in the tourist shops...which we love.



Where'd she go?!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Sunshine Award

Me... nominated?   I got an email/comment from Patricia saying she nominated me for an award and I...well, I almost blushed!  I'm humbled.

The Sunshine Blog Award is a prize is awarded to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”.

Thanks Patricia!   Patricia blogs at Worst Mom Ever.  Click on that link and it will take you to the funniest post I've ever seen!  Patricia is a fellow homeschooling blogger.  She is my biggest encourager on my blog and I hope I meet her in person on this side of heaven.
 The award works this way. First, the nominee must thank the blogger that nominated her and link back to their blog. Next she must nominate ten bloggers for the award. Then there is a list of ten questions to answer.  Also, make sure you let the bloggers know you nominated them.  Finally, the Sunshine Award button must be posted on the blog.

When I went to the 2:1 Conference the mantra was "Plug other's blogs as much as possible.  They are not your competition, they are your community."  

Here are my nominations for the Sunshine Award in no particular order.  I hope you visit them.  They are my community.

Confessions of a Fraidy Cat   I met Carol Anne at the 2:1 Conference and we bonded.  To say she is witty is an understatement;  she has an amazing way with words.  Here's what she says, "We live in times that give all of us reasons to fear.  There is a fraidy cat in all of us. The list is as varied as the hairs of our head.  I'm in the process of evicting mine...and I have several! So, come on along for the fun...if you dare!"  She is the bravest fraidy cat I know.

Yes They're All Ours  Elizabeth is the very busy mom of 10 children.  She has a beautiful smile and attitude.  She's been homeschooling since 1990 and she's on the downward slide with just five children and twelve years to go!  ;)   Her link will take you to my all-time favorite blog post.

 A Holy Experience  Ann's blog is beautiful.  I get on her blog and have a hard time leaving.  Here's what she says, "I had babies. Half a dozen beautiful babies. My laundry basket is never empty. I lose library books. I homeschool our six exuberant kids and most days I feel just a tad bit overwhelmed and crazy."  Can you see why I like her blog?  She is an encourager. 

Addison's Disease Daily  She is my friend, a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and most importantly, incredibly thankful child of God.  Her blog is not just an encouragement to other's with chronic illness, but it encourages everyone. 

Preparing Good Soil  My friend Jen is a Christian, military wife and homeschool mom.  The blog's title Preparing Good Soil is based on Jesus' parable in Luke 8 and Jen encourages other women.  

Mom of 8   She's the mom of 8 and has over 3200 followers on her I need to say more?!

Tell Me a Story  Her desire is to rescue the stories from our childhood and those stories about our children.   She has a blog link for bloggers to post their stories.  What an awesome idea!

Many Little Blessings    Many Little Blessings chronicles the life of a 30-something Catholic homeschooling Mom. Join her as she relies on God’s grace and the power of her shiny red stand mixer to get her through life without losing her mind.

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers  Kris is a Christian. Wife. Mom x 3. Home educator. Sweet tea addict. Formerly obese. Runner.  (Love her blog name!)  She's always willing to help/reply to comments and questions. 

Teaching What is Good  Kate has a passion about older women teaching younger women in the manner of Titus 2:3-5.  Another homeschooling mom of 8!

Now it's time for me to answer the ten questions about myself.

1- Favorite Color:  Blue!

2- Favorite Animal:  Dog.  Big dogs.

3- Favorite Number:  Never had one even during four years of  high school basketball.  My favorite TV show about a favorite number is Seinfeld's show where George wanted to name his child "Seven."  

4- Favorite Drink:  Which version?  G or PG-13?  G= Venti Non-fat Latte with 2 Splenda and heated to 160 degrees.  Hey, you asked!  And, I lived in Washington State where coffee is the national sport.  PG-13= (currently) Moscato wine.  

5- Facebook or Twitter:  I'm on both, but hardly ever visit Twitter...usually only when I want to get in touch with famous people. 

6- Good Book or Good Movie:  If I have the time;  good book.  

7- My Passion:  My family.  And chocolate comes in a close second.

8- Giving or Getting Gifts:  Hmmm.  Oh, that's so not fair.  I guess giving.

9- Favorite Day: Saturday.  It's the only day when I theoretically don't have to do anything. 

10- Favorite Flower:  Yellow rose (even before I lived in TX).

So, there you have it. If you've been nominated don't forget to grab the button and start thinking about who you will nominate. Be sure to take some time to check out some of these great blogs!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I'm participating in 7 Tools Book Club

The Pelsers 7 Tools Book Club

This is my first ever book club.  You are invited to join!  It starts tomorrow.

For more information on joining, click here  7 Tools Book Club.

Description of the book:  When you look at your children, do you see only little people making demands of your time? Or do you see what God sees—a landscape of limitless possibilities? Author and homeschool advocate Zan Tyler wants to take you beyond the here and now to embrace a wondrous, life-giving vision for your children’s future. With this amazing book, you will learn to recognize the signs of potential in your children, signs that are easy to miss yet ripe for cultivation. You will begin to see every facet of each child’s life through the eyes of faith and the lens of Scripture, creating a vision of hope and beauty. You will grow closer to the Master Gardener as you learn to use the tools He has given you for tending your family “garden.” Let Zan show you how to help your kids establish a godly identity, discover their purpose, develop a biblical worldview, and build leadership and communication skills. You will come away with a vision of child-raising so captivating and enthralling that you will know, come bedtime, it’s all been well worth the effort.

 Here’s what you need to know:
  •   Begins July 9.
  •  You’ll read one chapter each week. 
  •  Mondays: Reflection post and link up. Get link up details and buttons. 
  • Thursdays: Read an application type post from one of the book club contributors. 
  • Throughout the week: discussion in the closed Facebook group. 
  •  Fridays: Weekly email newsletter with a recap from the week. 
Here’s what you need to do:
  •  Get a copy of 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child’s Potential by Zan Tyler. It’s available in paperback and ebooks formats.
  • Sign up for the 7 Tools Book Club email newsletter. Subscribers will receive a link to download the free pdf printable guide/journal. 
  •  Request to be added to the 7 Tools Book Club Facebook group. Once you’ve been added, jump in and introduce yourself. 

Why am putting this on my blog?  Because I "have" to?  Ha!  No, because I want to.  This is going to be life changing for some of us.

And, I suggest that you print the guide/journal and don't "cheat" like I often do- try to read the book without doing the work.  I caved in and wrote in my journal and it's been an amazing first few chapters...

Who's going to join me?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We picked up our exchange students today!

For the next three and a half weeks we'll have a 12 year old girl from Spain and a 16 year old boy from France.  

We are so excited!

At noon we picked them up and brought them to our house for lunch- Philly cheese steaks. 

Then to our neighborhood the Fort Sam Houston Quadrangle to see some free-range wildlife, and to a fire with smores at our neighbor's after dinner.   Whew! 

The Quadrangle- Student from France on the right.

Student from Spain on the left.

Deer, peacocks, roster, pigeons.....swans....

The students are here to learn English (or improve their English).  The intent is to have them join our family in what we normally do.  We aren't expected to be tour guides.  They join our family and learn.  So do we!  They'll go to South Padre Island with us on our week vacation.

We had a boy from France last year with the same organization, Nacel, for two weeks and it was the BEST! 

Have you ever thought about hosting a child from another country?