Saturday, August 18, 2012


We homeschool. It is a choice Papi & I have made for our family. Each family needs to decide what education model is best for their family, and often times for each individual child. And, those choices need to be made each year, on a year--to-year basis. This is not about what I think you should choose for your family (I don't know, you know your own children best), or even why we have chosen to homeschool our children (which I may choose to write about in the future, but not today), rather the fact that we homeschool is more like background knowledge needed for this post.

Typically, we school year round. That allows us the freedom to take breaks as needed, rather than when someone else thinks we should. This year, however, we never really picked things back up after we moved home. Of course, there is always reading going on (the kids completed the reading for 2 different library reading programs) and nature studies for all of the wonderful things they discover while playing outside, but we didn't get back to the directed lessons and seat-work. So, we decided that August 1st would be our start date. Now, that decision was made at the beginning of July, and several things have happened since then. I am going to physical therapy for my wrist (an injury I've had for - ugh! - 19 years!), the box clearly labelled "school stuff 2012-2013" has gone missing, among other things. So, tomorrow won't be the big start I had planned. Then, as I was beginning to show JA some of the things she would get to do this year for 2nd grade, she begged to begin today. So we began.

JA worked on a Formalibro from the Prensa Libre in Guatemala. They are the best little booklets that the newspaper publishes for grades K-6. We're grateful to family that saved a year's worth for us, and JA has enjoyed them immensely. JT and I painted with water outside on the driveway. We practiced letters, numbers, and even some words (he got ambitious and asked for a 3 syllable word) and had a great time. I'm glad because he has been concerned about beginning kindergarten. His concern is that he doesn't know as much as his sister, and it has been difficult for him to grasp the fact that she is 2 years older and didn't know all this stuff when she began kindergarten either.

Now, we have added in history, language, and math. JT has discovered that math isn't as scary as he thought, and he does indeed know enough to be in kindergarten. JA has learned that school work is, well, work, and it is not just going to disappear. We're still working on her understanding that though reading is wonderful, it can't be the only part of her school day. (Sound familiar to anyone who knew me 25 years ago?) We are also working on figuring out the routine for our day that works best for everyone. Right now, it seems that our seat-work is best accomplished while JMC naps.


Papi has begun something new this summer - he surprises us by coming home from work early. The first time, he took JT fishing and out for ice cream. The 2nd time, he took JA for her first golf lesson and fishing. Yesterday, he let me take a nap and then took us all fishing. JMC and I just observed - me as the official photographer & toddler wrangler. JA & JT were doing so well fishing, that Papi didn't even have time to put a worm on his hook! They were catching a fish as soon as their hooks were in the water, easily more than 10 fish each!

Learning how to hold the fish. She did not like it.

Showing off for the girls.

Throwing the fish back

The kids had to touch each little fish that was caught. They were all sunfish.

I gave up on the toddler wrangling.

After fishing, we got ice cream and fruit for the kids, and then headed home. It was a wonderful beginning to our weekend, and such a blessing that Papi surprised us with the weekend beginning early.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We are blessed to live within easy walking distance to 2 parks. It's been so hot out and we've been attempting potty training with JMC, so we haven't been to the park nearly as often as we all would like. This past week though, it wasn't quite as hot, so after breakfast, we walked to the red & blue park (about 6 blocks away.) It was great! The kids & I had a blast, and by the time we came home, they were hungry for lunch, and then everyone took a nap! We may have to make an effort to get to the park more often. :)

They found 2 crab-apple trees and had a blast collecting them. It was fun to watch them work together. (And it smelled like apple cider under the trees!)

There was a garden behind the park with lots of bright colored flowers, grasses, and even a statue.

They have been wanting to use their umbrellas. Well, it hasn't rained in ages, so they decided to use them as parasols.