Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cat Fever!

A new cat, Martin, was added to our clan a few weeks ago. He is a brave little fellow who stands up to Dixie and is just so adorable.
He is Jack's cat, but don't tell Mary. She thinks he is hers. She told me that he should be her cat since he has blue eyes like her. Hmmm. I guess she has noticed all the comments on her "beautiful blue eyes"
I think I'm ready to switch my affections from dogs to cats (outdoor) I know, I know. My "dog snob" family is gasping in horror, but it's true. They are just so easy. And they earn their keep!

Kate was bitten by cat fever last year when tiny Sox was dropped off in our driveway. He has turned out to be one of the nicest cats I have ever been around. No attitude. No snootiness. He tolerates the kids and kills dreadful little rodents. I am a fan!
We'll see if Jack will be persuaded

Now, how could you resist this?

When I say, they tolorate the kids, that is no small feat!

How cute is this little guy?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Picture Study Week 2

This week we studied Jean-Francois Millet and his painting "Feeding Her Birds" Another jewel. Check out the link to read about this artist. He was a good choice for us to study right now because he lived in France from 1814-1875 which fits right into the era we are studying. He was a poor man living in difficult ,to say the least, times. He was not given much recognition by his contemporaries, but if you click on the link on his name, you will doubtless recognize at least a few of his works. I remember that we had "The Gleaners" in our home growing up and I always loved it. Another favorite is "The Angelus " Check out the link. I think that you, too, will enjoy getting a glimpse of life through the eyes of this , simple, God-fearing man.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Watermelon On A Hot Summer Day... of our favorite things....

The kids had made a "fort' of sorts using a tarp to cover the slide. Watermelon was the perfect end to this playtime.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Great Link - Voddie Baucham on Family Life

Many of you are probably already familiar with Family Life. They have a great line up of guests right now, one of whom , is one of my favorites, Voddie Baucham. Check out this link to listen to this series for yourself. Anyone with daughters, listen up! You need to hear this.

Who is This Handsome Fellow?

My handsome little man with his new glasses. He said he liked them because he looked like a scientist or a really smart guy. Not sure that will be the look he will be going for in a few years, but for now they are just what he is looking for!
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More Maps, Not So Yummy.

Week 1 in Tapestry of Grace we learned many new geography terms. Lots of them. They suggested that the students make a map of an imaginary land that has all the many landforms. Archipelago, isthmus, penninsula, on and on. This project made map study great fun!

Jacks is not fully painted yet

Kate finished hers. They are pretty cool. I think we will be doing more of these.

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A Yummy Way to Learn about Geography

One of our first crafts with Tapestry of Grace was a salt map to show all the various landforms that they were studying. Next we did a cookie dough map. That was a big hit with all the kids. It was suppose to be of the US and show the major landforms. Don't think that was accomplished, but it was fun and yummy! I will post a picture of the salt maps soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mary the Reader, Revisited.

Mary is doing well with here reading and enjoying her new books from Grandma Mary.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Resource for Free and Low Cost Audio Books

We love books.

We love reading them.

We love listening to them.

And that is a good thing because with Tapestry of Grace, you read A LOT. We are covering the 19th Century this year and that is a lot of ground to cover in one year if you are like me who doesn't want to miss anything. So many fun things to learn about in this time period.

With so many books to read, it is great when I can find one of them available in audio form. So I was thrilled to find a new site for unabridged audio books - many for free. Check it out! It is well organized and so helpful for homeschooling if you, like us, enjoy supplementing your reading with audio books.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kate's New Venture

You all know that Kate has had a blog for a while now, but I wanted to let you all know of her latest project. She is "Co-Editor" of "Girls of Grace Gazette" Be sure to check it out! She and a friend from church started it just this past month. I think they did a great job! Be sure to pass it on to any young ladies you know!

Bat Kids

One of Mary and Jude's favorite things to pretend lately is that they are bats. Not sure what that is all about, but here they are. Could be that Jack is rubbing off on them. He asked me the other day if he could have a bat for his next pet.

....hmmm lets me think about it......NO.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fun Memory Work

We are studying the Constitution right now, so I was excited to find a song to help the kids memorize the Preamble. Good old School House Rock.

Couldn't resist adding this video of Barney Fife trying his hand at reciting the Preamble to the Constitution.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tapestry of Grace

We started school this week. Yeah! We were anxious to start a new curriculum. The last 2 years, we have done Sonlight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our schooling method has always a mix of Classical and Charlotte Mason and very much literature based. Sonlight was perfect in many ways. The only problem (or at least, the main one) was that it was getting difficult to teach two different cores and eventually, I would need to add a 3rd.

So, I started looking more closely at Tapestry of Grace . It allows you to teach all the different ages of kids using the same teachers guide. So Kate in 7/8th grade, Jack in 4th/5th and Mary who is just starting out will all be studying the 19th Century (We are doing year 3) having the same - or very similar focus-but reading books at their own level. It is a brilliant system really. I think Marcia Sommerville (the creator) is quite the genius. History, literature, geography, writing, church history / worldview are woven together along with the time period we are studying. High school adds in government and philosophy.

We are really loving it! This week we are studying Napoleon, the French Revolution and John Adams. It has been fascinating. Maybe I'm weird though. I LOVE History!

I am adding a link for free webinars by Marcia Sommerville. I highly recommend them for anyone - not just a Tapestry user. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Christian Courtesy" by F.B Meyer

"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous."-- 1Pe 3:8.

IT WOULD be a marvel to find in any community under heaven a complete embodiment of the injunctions contained in this and the following verses. Yet nothing less than this is the Christian ideal, and it would be well if, without waiting for others, each one would adopt these precepts as the binding rule and regulation of daily life. This would be our worthiest contribution to the convincing of the world, and to the coming of the Kingdom of our Lord. Does not the Apostle's use of the word "finally" teach us that all Christian doctrine is intended to lead up to and inaugurate that life of love, the bold outlines of which are sketched in these words?
The general principle. "Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another." This oneness of mind does not demand the monotony of similarity, but unity in variety. We shall never be of one mind in the sense of all holding the same opinions; but we may be all of one mind when, beneath diversities of opinion, expression, and view, we are animated by a common devotion to Christ.
Note the specific applications.
Love as brethren. Love is not identical with like. Providence does not ask us whom we would like to be our brethren, that is settled for us, but we are bidden to love them, irrespective of our natural predilections and tastes. Love does not necessarily originate in the emotions, but in the will; it consists not in feeling, but in doing; not in sentiment, but in action; not in soft words, but in unselfish deeds.
Be pitiful Oh, for the compassion of our blessed Lord! How often it breaks out in the Gospel narrative to the weak and erring, to the hungry crowds, and to the afflicted who sought His help!
Be courteous. Be ready to take the least comfortable seat, or to let others sit while you stand. Let the manners of your Heavenly Father's Court be always evident in your daily life, so that the world may learn that Christianity produces not simply the heroism of a great occasion, but the minute courtesies of daily living.

Wordless Wednesday

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

It's that time of year...

Time to start a new school year!

We are so excited to start a new curriculum this year called Tapestry of Grace. We are all looking forward to it. I will be posting more about it soon.

For years we have to incorporate "Picture Study" into our schooling, but have been pretty hit and miss. Hopefully, we will be more consistent this year.

Here is one of the pictures we have been studying. It is called "Country School" by Homor Winslow.
Our picture study is pretty basic. I put the print of choice up on fridge (I have many 4x5 cards of fine art that I use) We look at it throughout week.

I ask them questions to test observation skills. "What kind of room is in this picture?" "What can we tell about the weather from this picture?" etc.

The kids are ALWAYS way more observant than I am. We are going to start studying the artist briefly. I am working on a worksheet of sorts that I will use that will go a little deeper. It has been fun even for Mary (4.5)

The basic idea is to grow in appreciation of and exposure to fine art as well as observation skills.

Try it out yourself!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cowabunga !

Jude learned a new phrase this week. We were doing LOTS of swimming and Grayson taught him to say this as he jumped into the water.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What may seem defeat to us may be victory to him

Taken from Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon

The night also is thine. Psalms 74:16

Yes, Lord, you do not abdicate your throne when the sun goes down, nor do you leave the world all through these long wintry nights to be the prey of evil; your eyes watch us as the stars, and your arms surround us as the zodiac belts the sky. The dews of kindly sleep and all the influences of the moon are in your hand, and the alarms and solemnities of night are equally with you. This is very sweet to me when watching through the midnight hours, or tossing to and fro in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun: may my Lord make me to be a favoured partaker in them.

The night of affliction is as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as the bright summer days when all is bliss. Jesus is in the tempest. His love wraps the night about itself as a mantle, but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarce a disguise. From the first watch of the night even unto the break of day the eternal Watcher observes his saints, and overrules the shades and dews of midnight for his people’s highest good. We believe in no rival deities of good and evil contending for the mastery, but we hear the voice of Jehovah saying, “I create light and I create darkness; I, the Lord, do all these things.”

Gloomy seasons of religious indifference and social sin are not exempted from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled, and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord’s servants weep with bitter sorrow, but they may not despair, for the darkest eras are governed by the Lord, and shall come to their end at his bidding. What may seem defeat to us may be victory to him.

“Though enwrapt in gloomy night,
We perceive no ray of light;
Since the Lord himself is here,
‘Tis not meet that we should fear.”