Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Sunday, September 28, 2014

School Days–Our 2nd Month

Today y’all are getting the abbreviated version of our weekly school update.  Truth is, since our return from Disney, it’s been difficult for me to get back into the swing of things.  Don’t get me wrong.  We are keeping up with our studies, but when it comes to planning extra activities and documenting weekly highlights, I’ve dropped the ball.  If you’ve ever been to Disney World you know where I’m coming from.  Everyone really should have an additional week of vacation just to recover from all that magic.

Back to the topic of school…

In science the monkeys have been studying the respiratory system.  The highlight of this chapter for the kids was definitely our discussion on snot mucus.  Why are kids so weird??  During our science time each day I read to the kids from our textbook.  Then Ty and Lucy each work activities in their own science journals.  Lucy’s work usually involves, tracing, coloring, or copywork, and Ty’s assignments include things like crossword puzzles, short answer questions, and diagrams.  In addition, Ty also has the task of jotting down important facts he’s learned during each lesson.

I’ve been so impressed with Ty’s note taking lately.  He’s getting good at selecting what information he should write down, and his sentence structure is improving too.  I’m really pleased that he is taking his time and taking pride is in work.  He’s really come a long way since last year.

The best days for me as mom/teacher are definitely those days that I notice my monkeys making improvements in areas where they previously struggled.  I’m proud of their efforts and love to see their growth, but their improvements are also a confirmation to me.  Not a day goes by that I don’t worry that maybe I’m not doing this school thing correctly.  I’m no professional.  What if I screw up my kids?  But when I see the light bulbs over my kids’ heads or see them working independently when they previously needed my help, I know I’ve got to be doing something right.

In history these past few weeks, we have been jumping all over the globe.  We’ve studied Hammurabi and the Babylonians, discussed the Shang Dynasty in China, and moved with the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt, through their wanderings in the desert, and finally into the Promised Land.  Whew!  That’s a full two weeks.

Somehow I did manage to plan a couple of projects to go along with a few of our history lessons.

This first project, Sharpie tie-dyed t-shirts, was our version of Joseph’s  coat of many colors.

First, the kids drew simple designs on a white t-shirt with Sharpie markers. 

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Then we dropped rubbing alcohol onto the designs and watched the colors spread.

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The entire process was super easy, and the results were impressive.  The finished product really did look like tie-dying.  However, Lucy was so proud of her initial Sharpie drawings, that I could not coax her apply the tie-dye effect.

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What a fun activity to remind of us one of the great heroes of faith!

Next, for the lesson on Rahab and the Battle of Jericho, the monkeys made red cord bracelets.  First they sculpted beads from air-dry clay.  After the beads were dry, I strung a red cord through them.

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The red cord is to remind the kids of the signal Rahab used to save her household during the Battle of Jericho.  The bracelet is also a reminder of the faith of Rahab, and how even though she wasn’t perfect, God still used her in a mighty way.  Lucy’s bead is inscribed with the words “Believe” and “Trust.”  Ty wrote “I  Red heart ” on one side of his bead and “God” on the other.

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As usual we close out each week of history lessons by adding a few more figures to our timeline.  Here’s Lucy showing off her glittery, gold Ark of the Covenant.

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It was all we could do to keep Tacy Mae from ripping every single figure off the timeline last week.  She wanted to be right in the middle of all the action.

A quick note on Tacy… She is officially bipedal now, and there is no stopping her!  That’s right.  She’s walking on her own.  Not only did Tacy start walking a couple of weeks ago, but she started climbing too.  Heaven help me!  The degree of difficulty of teaching school just increased by about 100 times.  All of this new found mobility means Tacy is in to everything.  Dog food, kitchen cabinets, school drawers, pantry shelves, trash cans, sewing supplies.  You name it.  She’s in it!  Lucky for her, she’s cute.  It’s hard to get on to something that cute!

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That’s really all the pictures I have to share from the last four weeks.  Told ya’ I haven’t been doing my job lately.  I’ll try to do better!

Next week should be full of fun around here, as we will be celebrating Tacy’s first birthday.  I can hardly believe it was a whole year ago that we welcomed this precious girl to our family.  Y’all be sure to check back for some party pics later next week.


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