This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fun Friday

We are taking the relaxed approach here for Friday. Roo got all his reading done while Boo created a new game. It uses his cowboys and Indians, a deck of cards and a world map. Sounds a bit like a variation of RISK which they played later—yes that is the LOTR version, for those in the know.

Ratting on myself here…I should be working on this: But I have chosen to mess around with my blog.

And by the weekend’s end this will all be gone.



See the sentry Nutcracker is so tired from standing guard this long time he is tilted and leaning with exhaustion.



No news on the job front so we wait and we enjoy the time together and we wait for the hand of the LORD to move.

Joy and Peace for the weekend to come. Shalom, shalom and again shalom.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Beginning of Basketball

The boys took their first PE class yesterday. It was with a group of other homeschoolers and they started learning the fundamentals of basketball. I thought they were going to explode with anticipation in the weeks leading up to their class. Roo in his characteristic worry-wart style was concerned about our punctuality. We went to a building I hadn’t seen in years and were welcomed in and got registered.

It was, to me, an impressive situation. It seemed obvious it was a very diverse group. Everyone was pleasant and the children were…well, all homeschooled. Since I have taken us on the independent track for a long time, and the boys only participate in one other on-going outside activity, it was a novelty to be around that many homeschooled children and their parents. They definitely did not fall into the cookie cutter stereotype that is attached often to homeschoolers.

But about basketball…Parents were welcome to hangout and watch or go socialize (that word) with other parents. I chose to read the first half to allow the boys to focus on their teacher and came in later when they were intent on the skills they were learning.

There was a pretty large range in ages and skills. Interestingly enough, many older children were no better than some younger ones and some of the young ones were pretty far along. They were all very encouraging to each other for the most part. The teacher, a wonderful homeschool mom, was at the same time very patient but in control and kept the class organized and moving. Not to long working on “this”, making sure there was enough “that.” My boys were at the level of “we own a basketball and a toddler hoop, but really don’t know much about it stage.” I alternately laughed and marveled at their attempts and triumphs, and was pleased to see them jump in whole-heartedly after a shy start. They were instructed, encouraged and challenged

Class ended and I was filled in on all the exciting details, confirming this was, indeed, a good choice. On to the next activity and then home and I must say they were worn out in the best way. Now they are counting the days to the next basketball class…Does that count as math—kidding!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dropping you a line...

fish card

A fun little card that I wish I had thought up the idea for. For the moment I can’t tell you who did, either because the book is back at the library. I will add the info when I find out again.

Edited to add: The inspiration for this card came for the book Stamped and Beaded Cards.


Of course I couldn’t just follow directions and do it their way. I added dry and heat embossing (the dry embossing was using Fiskar’s texture plates) and some patterned paper with the “Just dropping you a line” that looks like a fish hook and fishing line.

The fun part of course was the window. The liquid is in a tiny jewelry baggie filled with hand sanitizer and some glitter, although I know the book suggested hair gel. The problem with that was the only hair gel in the house was yellow and well, umm...no, I just couldn’t do that. I will just leave that thought alone.

A word of caution, use whatever liquid you put in there sparingly because it expands when warm. If there are air bubbles, which there should be a few in there for effect, they will expand also. I know being a homeschool mom and all I should be able to report the scientific reason why. I promise we will get to that experiment soon. I will report on it when we get it done, really. Tiny seed beads can be used instead or in addition to the glitter and I am going to see what liquid soap looks like in the window.

Leave me a comment for more specific instructions.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Duckling


I have a paper addiction. There, I’ve said it. (Actually I have a collection of hobbies, but paper has been in the forefront lately.)

My compulsion most often manifests in card making. I started a set of “quilt block” cards a while back. I need to work on adding stitching. But this was one of my favorites.
The idea for quilt cards was inspired by Bridget Hoff's book Paper Quilting. The design by Vanessa-Ann.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Road to Reading with Roo and Boo

Homeschoolers first hurdle seems to be the reading one. The measure which many of our family and friends judge our success on is whether or not little Johnny is reading. And even when the opinions of homeschool are positive there is a general belief by the friends and family that the child will be reading earlier than their public and private school counterparts.

Most homeschoolers, although not all, know that blanket stereotype is a fallacy. Especially ones with independent streaks, free-thinkers and stubborn types. I had one of each, one child read relatively early, although not precociously so. The other…well…said he couldn’t/wouldn’t read. Until recently.

Roo was reading very early, 4ish and I enjoyed working with him so much. He is a real people pleaser and still is today, even though he is getting a bit ummm…confident. He enjoyed being read to and we would sit as long as my voice could hold out. But then he stalled out at about 7.

Looking back now, I see he was busy learning other things. His math skills bloomed early also, and at about 6 he decided to focus on that. Now at early 9 he has his nose in a book all the time. If he wants to know how something works he gets a book from the library and finds out. He has gotten back into fiction again too. We’ve also resumed read alouds together. A joy to his book-freak, library-loving, bookstore venturing mommy’s heart.

Boo…well, Boo made me feel like hitting my head on a wall. He repeatedly told me he wanted to "just be a little boy." Peter Pan could not have been more stubborn. He was very insistent he didn't want to read. Did not want me to read to him (for a book junkie like me that was devastating) and just wanted to play. He didn't want to do math either. He MOST DEFINITELY did not want to do what his older sibling was doing. Most people will say their #2s WANT to do what big brother/sister is doing. No way, not my little guy.

So with some fear (okay, a lot of fear) I just let it go for a while. I will admit to having a suspicion I was being duped. But I really felt like life was a battle and I felt I was losing the heart of my dear sweet boy.

I wrote this about him over a year ago: “Boo and I have struggled lately. He is very content being a child. He is in stubborn and silly mode. He is also working on communicating without talking. Since telepathy is not my thing, Boo has been pointing a lot, making his own sign language and “squeaking.” I think what is really going on is he wants to see how fast he can make me lose it.

There has been a lot of backing off on my part. There has been a lot of figuring out whether something is important to me now because it really is something Boo needs to know or if I am worried if he doesn’t seem to know it people will think I am an awful teacher. Ouch. I said it.

That said, there are days I know he is pulling a fast one on me. Nope, don’t want to do numbers. Nope, don’t want to do handwriting. Don’t want to be read to and don’t want to read. Then we play cards. Or we are at a store. Or I sneak one in. “What does that say?” Ooops! He can read. He can figure out not only what cards are in his hand, but how many to draw and then lay down a run. Stinker. “


So we took the unschooling/relaxed-eclectic approach with Boo. Roo got the benefit of this also and I think it served him well. Boo decided he would watch movies with the sub-titles on. He told me he was learning to read. I shook my head and let him. He still kept insisting he did not want to sit at the table with me, or on the couch or wherever if it involved a book.

Now at mid-6 I am sure I was being duped. We have stepped up the pace and expectations a little bit. Boo will still tell me he "can't" whatever I request. But amazingly "can." He can do quite a bit if he is in a good mood. So he is one of the later start children. He does things willingly only if he feels it will benefit him. And what makes something a benefit, I still don't know completely.

He discovered Charlie Brown. Guess what. Roo would read those to him for a while, I would read those to him for a while, then he was on his own. I am sorry, I know for a mommy wanting her boy to read, you’d think I would have read each one…but I just couldn’t.

Sooooooooo…Boo started reading them himself. Checking out volume after volume at the library. Sitting and reading. He and Roo received the complete Calvin and Hobbes for the holidays. I don’t know about the wisdom of sharing Calvin (an old favorite of mine) with my sons. But they will spend an easy hour reading to each other. So it’s got to have some good.

Patience is a virtue and mine has been tested. God gave me both sons to teach, but also to learn from. Roo has taught me about marching through the day to day with confidence. Boo has taught me to look upon odd alternatives as good learning opportunities. They both have taught me what a wonderful, patient Father I have.

Count it all joy.

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